Wedding Recap: The Reception, Part II

The one thing I was adamant about throughout the planning process was a reception that reflected the type of couple Adam and I are. We like to goof off, relax, listen to good music and spend time with family and friends. That’s exactly the reception we had. Our reception was high-energy and laid-back and allowed us to be ourselves around our friends.

Our DJ allowed us to create a playlist prior to the reception with music we thought our guests would be most receptive to and, while I stressed a bit about this element of the wedding, it turned out better than I ever imagined. Our dance floor was packed the entire night! Apparently we had a good mix of oldies, line dances, and current hits. 🙂

While we twisted,

my dad shouted,

and my aunts shimmied.

Guests jumped…

and threw their hands up in the air like they just didn’t care.

There were even a few sisterly dance moments.

And then the DJ played “Single Ladies”.

Remember the whole “Operation: No More Beyonce” thing and the fact that I’m slightly addicted to Jazzercise? I worked with my coordinator to loosely stage a flash mob, after I contacted my fellow Jazzercisers mere days before the wedding.

Yep, our reception had a Jazzercise flash mob in the middle of the dance floor.

It was so much fun dancing with my instructors and other Jazzer-buddies who drove down to celebrate with us! I seriously love those women!

There’s even video evidence of our Jazzer-moment!

Then I got sick…light-headed, stomach turning, overheated.

Note to future brides: don’t go a full day on only apples and caramel sauce, get married, then expect to dance the night away in your wedding dress.

Adam got me a bottled water, then got Heather, our coordinator, to come help.

So while my guests were doing this:

and this:

and this:

I was doing this:

Yep. I missed doing the “YMCA” at my own wedding.

But I was soon back out on the dance floor just in time for the “Time Warp”. My sudden weak state was nothing several bottles of water and a plate of food couldn’t fix.

While I went back to the dance floor, Adam went to hang with his family. And by hang, I mean totally goof-off.

Then it was time to drag him back out to the dance floor for the “Cha-Cha Slide”…

…before ending the fun-filled night with a sparkler getaway and a kiss to seal the deal.

We were officially married and on our way to Napa Valley for our honeymoon!

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Wedding Recap: The Reception, Part I

I’ll admit, we threw our amazing coordinator a huge curveball during the planning process when we told her the location of our reception. I wanted to create a warm, romantic, and vintage setting. In my hometown’s concrete and cinder block armory.

She accepted the challenge without hesitation and transformed the space beyond my wildest expectations.

Our reception began with a Wedding Party Entrance to The Beatles – All You Need is Love which took us right into our first dance as husband and wife to Adele’s cover of Make You Feel My Love

During our dance, we agreed that we felt very awkward dancing by ourselves in front of our family and friends. I also remember Adam goofing off during our dance, I think he was rapping along with Adele – which doesn’t really fit but, as always, made me laugh. I love that our photographer captured that moment.

Next up, was my father-daughter dance. My dad selected Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World for our big dance – which was only a mere warm up for the rest of the night.

After we showed off our fancy footwork on the dance floor it was time for Adam’s mother-son dance. Adam’s mom chose Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance for their special moment.

I absolutely love the looks of pure happiness on both our parents’ faces during these dances. Wonderfully captured by our photographer, yet again!

Once the dances were done, our coordinator whisked us away to cut the cake. In fact, we were whisked so fast that our parents missed us cutting the cake. Thankfully, we have pictures that captured the excitement and yumminess!

Our coordinator surprised us with some vintage forks I had been lusting over for months from Etsy. It was at the moment she presented the forks to us that my emotions from the day finally overcame me and I shed some very happy tears. Heather truly was the best!

After the cake cutting, Adam gave a speech thanking our guests for coming and celebrating our special day with us. We also wanted to thank our guests personally and went from table to table in an attempt to do so.

At the end of Adam’s speech, we led our Razorback loving guests in a Hog Call. It was only fitting since we intentionally picked our wedding day based on the Razorbacks’ football schedule – our wedding day was one of the only bye weekends of the season.

Throughout the rest of evening we had a few scheduled “events” for special moments. First up? A sorority sing. My Alpha Delta Pi sisters are the best and I was so honored that they made the trip to the middle of South Arkansas to celebrate with us.

Then, of course, we had to have the garter and bouquet tosses towards the end of the night…

Our reception wasn’t all structure and formality. After the cake was cut, the guests were thanked, the Hogs were called and the buffet was opened, the dance floor became a happening place…

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Wedding Recap: The Details

Everyone has a specific part of weddings they love. For some it’s the ceremony or the way a groom looks as his bride is walking down the aisle. For others it’s the bride’s dress or the reception.

For me, it is all about the little details. The things guests may or may not pick up on immediately, but that have importance to the couple and their families.

Immediately after I got engaged, I started stalking wedding blogs and trying to determine a vision for our big day. I’m a Southern small town, Anthropologie loving girl and knew I wanted to bring in bits of this throughout the ceremony and reception.

I emailed picture after picture to my mom of mason jars, lace, burlap, and wheat. I overwhelmed her and confused her. In my head I knew exactly how I wanted my wedding and reception to be, but telling it to someone else? Not that easy. Eventually we got on the same page – understated elegance with a romantic rustic chic feel.

I loved my bouquet and I loved that I was carrying a part of the strong women who were no longer here with me down the aisle. In memory of my grandmother Gran-Merle, we pinned one of her brooches to it, which served as my something blue, and wrapped the bouquet in a handkerchief which had a border tatted by my great-aunt Lila.

In the months leading up to the ceremony, my mom worked tirelessly on various “mom-jects”. She sewed burlap table runners, found beautiful iron work medallions at a steal to use for mason jar candelabras, created perfect burlap bunting banners to hang at various places throughout the reception, sewed pillows and cushions for our hay bale lounge, hot glued lace to french pails, cleaned antique medicine bottles and glassware, made moss letters and burlap wreaths. And just one week before the wedding? She stayed up until 2:30 in the morning to bake 72 dozen of her famous dishpan cookies as favors for our guests.

Details

She was quite busy and I’ll never be able to adequately thank her for all of the love she poured into making our wedding day absolutely everything I imagined.

Meanwhile, I was busy designing the program and other paper goods for the ceremony and reception using a few free graphics from the Wedding Chicks website which I manipulated to fit my overall vision.

The family fun didn’t stop there, though. My dad and uncle built a screen out of old doors my parents salvaged from the 110+ year old victorian home I grew up in, all of which had been kept in our shed since they remodeled the home in the late 80s and early 90s. My dad also cleaned up his old tandem bicycle that had been stored out in the shed for as many years as the doors.

Adam and his brother joined in the project fun as well, bringing wine barrels from the winery Adam worked in throughout high school and college which would serve as the “legs” for the groom’s table and my sister brought her large collection of wine corks to fill additional mason jars for the groom’s cake stand.

The effort that was put into these details by our families helped to make my wedding day all that I dreamed and more…

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Wedding Recap: The Ceremony

I wanted our ceremony to take place in the sanctuary where I spent every Sunday of my childhood.

The sanctuary where the kneeling pads my grandmother Ottie helped to needlepoint are placed around the altar rail.

The sanctuary where I have so many wonderful, peaceful memories.

I wanted to make a new memory in the place where so many of the memories that shaped me into the woman I am today were made.

Well, we made many memories that day. From the chills I got as soon as the organist began playing the processional music for the bridesmaids – a song I had chosen in memory of Ottie, The Wedding Processional from The Sound of Music, to how I felt right before I walked down the aisle alongside my father. The memories were only beginning.

As I walked down the aisle towards Adam, I faintly remember seeing friends and family out of the corners of my eye, ecstatic to be able to share this moment with them.

I remember looking at Adam and seeing the look of sheer happiness across his face. I couldn’t stop smiling.

It was time.

We were ready.

After my dad presented me, the preachers began our traditional Methodist ceremony. Everything was moving along perfectly until the first prayer.

That’s when my sister realized she forgot the ring.

Thankfully, our coordinator, Heather, sensed that Madeline had forgotten the ring and was already halfway down a side aisle when it was time to place it on Adam’s finger.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t fast enough to save Madeline from embarrassment. When the preacher asked for the rings, Madeline had to admit her mistake – which was the first moment Adam and I knew what had happened.

Madeline hates to draw attention to herself – specifically embarrassing attention – so this moment couldn’t have been more perfect for me and I laughed heartily at the altar.

Then I exchanged a forgiving smile and a high-five with her – yes, you read that right, we high-fived at the altar – before taking the ring and placing it on Adam’s finger.

The moment we exchanged rings was surreal for me. This was actually happening. I was becoming Adam’s wife!

I remember Adam proudly and loudly repeating each line of the vows after the preacher and I remember the look of complete commitment in his eyes. It warmed my heart and showed me a new side of him that I immediately loved.

After a final prayer it was done.

The ceremony was over and we were taking our first kiss as husband and wife.

As we were exiting the sanctuary, I felt a swell of happiness greater than anything I had ever felt before. It was overwhelming and exciting and the perfect emotion to ramp me up for our fun-filled reception…

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Wedding Recap: Wedding Party

Our  wedding party was the best!

Just as I wrote of how wonderful my bridesmaids were, the same could be said for Adam’s groomsmen. They were attentive, hilarious, easy going and supportive all day long.

Made up of siblings and close friends, there was no other group I’d have wanted standing in support of the commitment Adam and I were about to make to one another than this.

They were willing to hold one of several bunting banners my mom made for our wedding day…

Willing to stand in rocky alley way terrain for a less traditional photo-op…

Willing to wear matching shoes and socks…

Willing to put up with Adam’s excitement…

And, most of all, willing to put up with our shameless displays of affection in the moments leading up to the ceremony…

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Wedding Recap: First Look

Adam and I chose to have a “first look” prior to me walking down the aisle and I’m so glad we decided to do this! After exchanging our gifts and putting the final touches together before our wedding party pictures, our photographer whisked us off to the garden of the church between the education building and the sanctuary for our only chance to be alone on our wedding day.

Adam stood with his back to me and between the coordinator and photographer we had a timed photo opportunity, followed by several moments of alone time to soak up all that was about to happen without interruption. It was perfect.

Seeing him for the first time, EVER, in a tux was great in and of itself, but knowing that in just a couple of hours he would be my husband made seeing him at this moment even more special. I was overwhelmed with joy.

I was full of love.

I wanted to know if he was nervous.

He wasn’t.

And just as soon as we were left alone, we were swept back into reality for wedding party pictures…

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Wedding Recap: Getting Ready

While home for Christmas, Adam and I received our gorgeous wedding album and disk of images from our photographer, Karen Segrave of KES Weddings. Ever since then I’ve been itching to share the story of our wedding day with you. From getting ready, to the “I Dos”, to the par-tay following the ceremony and everything in between, I’ve decided to break our day up into a series of blog posts.

Let’s begin, shall we?

On the morning of our wedding, my bridesmaids and I gathered at a local salon in my small hometown to have our hair and makeup done. My sister served as photographer at the salon – which would explain why there are no pictures of my maid of honor getting ready.

First up was Sydney, a hometown friend I’ve known for my entire life – and hers.

Sydney

Then my hilarious sorority sister, Sarah got her pouf on.

Sarah

Following Sarah was another sorority sister and sweet friend, Lauren – whose hair had never held a pouf until my wedding day.

Lauren

My bridesmaids were awesome that morning. We laughed, we played Tribond, we chatted about life and we enjoyed the Southern small town requisite lunch of Sonic. Well, I should say they enjoyed Sonic, I was given strict instructions by my wedding coordinator, Heather, not to eat anything greasy so I had apple slices and caramel sauce while the smell from everyone else’s greasy goodies filled the air.

Leading up to my wedding I had no idea what I’d be like on my wedding day. Would I be nervous? Manic? Stressed? I actually ended up having a tremendous feeling of peace all morning and in the minutes leading up to the wedding. And, in addition to peace? Complete and utter happiness. I’m still shocked my cheeks weren’t sore the next day, because I’m pretty sure I had a smile all. day. long.

No Makeup

Ignore the lack of makeup…I know I’m scary

Around mid afternoon, our photographer arrived at the church to begin capturing our day. I had taken my dress, veil, and other belongings over to the church earlier that morning so that all I’d have to worry about once my hair and makeup were done was getting dressed at the church.

Photography by KES Weddings

After getting to the Bridal Suite at the church and getting everything in place it was time. Time to put on my dress.

For my wedding.

On my wedding day.

I was so excited for this moment.

After putting it partly on in the bathroom, my mom helped to button me in. I still remember the rush of excitement that swept through me at this moment.

Laughing

After putting my dress on, I was able to relax for a bit. Adam and I had decided to exchange gifts first thing after we had gotten ready, so my sister took Adam his gift while Adam’s brother and best man, Sam, was in charge of delivering my gift.

Once our gifts were exchanged, it was time for our “first look”…

images via Karen Segrave | KES Weddings

Honey, I’m home…

With moving and marriage also came a bit of a change to my work environment. I switched from corporate cube monkey to secluded homebased associate. I’m not complaining, I got to keep my job and I can work in my PJs whenever I want. 🙂

Here’s the thing, though, I’m not exactly the homebody type. I like to be social during work. I like knowing there’s someone I can yell pointless facts to over the cube wall. At home, that person for the better part of 8 hours everyday doesn’t exist. Unless you count the voices in my head.

Friday, in an effort to entertain myself and have a productive lunch break from work, I unpacked boxes. Progress feels good. Really good. Plus, I needed to know what we don’t have – decor wise – so that we could have a successful flea market/vintage shopping trip last weekend.

Then, as I was walking back to my desk to respond to emails and get back in the work groove I had an idea:

That’s right. A floor to ceiling “wall” of boxes built by me to greet Adam when he arrives home from work. I placed it strategically in the front door so he can open the door without actually knocking down the boxes.

I’m a genius.

And the funniest person I know.

Transitioned and Thankful

It’s been a month since I got married. A single, whirlwind month full of traveling, packing, Hog calling, unwrapping, unpacking, organizing, working, and more unpacking.

Needless to say, I’ve neglected my blog, but I’m in a groove now – or so I think – and blogging will return to normal soon.

In the meantime, my favorite holiday is upon us and the practice of giving thanks is something that also seems to be neglected in my day to day life. But, you see, I am thankful – I’m thankful for a lot of things.

I’m thankful that my husband supports and encourages me. That he tells me he loves me frequently.

I’m thankful for my health.

I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head, food in my kitchen and lots of warm scarves in my closet.

I’m thankful that everyday I can smile at a perfect stranger and get a smile in return.

I’m thankful that even in a new city, which I was hesitant to move to because it was smack-dab in the middle of Longhorn country, I already feel at home.

I’m thankful for my family, for the laughs we share and the memories we continue to make every time we’re together.

I’m thankful for my friends and their loyalty, even if I am almost a Texan now.

I’m thankful that the first place I learned to drive by myself to in Austin was Nordstrom Rack.

I’m thankful that I haven’t gotten lost yet – especially since I hear everyone gets lost when they first move here.

I’m thankful for an almost unpacked apartment and look forward to decorating it with flea market finds.

I’m thankful for inspiration found on Pinterest.

I’m thankful for the window next to my desk. It’s amazing what blue skies and sunlight do for my mood.

Most of all, I’m just thankful, for everything in my life.

I couldn’t imagine a life any better than what I have right now.

I’ve been tagged…

A friend who shall remain nameless tagged me in a Q&A Facebook note. On Monday.

Today, I’m just getting around to posting my answers. Yes, it’s been that kind of week. I should also state my “shall remain nameless friend” is leaving for vacation tomorrow and I am insanely jealous about this. Consider this your bon voyage present.

Name: Megan

Age: 27

Birth date: June 7, 1984

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 92 Truths about you. At the end, choose at least 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If you’re reading this and you have a blog, consider yourself tagged. You’re welcome.

WHAT WAS YOUR:

  1. Last beverage = Sweet Leaf Organic Tea
  2. Last phone call = Adam, giving me advice for a grad school paper
  3. Last text message = Twitter alerting me @kerrijack replied to an earlier tweet of mine regarding hammers
  4. Last song you listened to = Goody Goody by Marie Adams & The Three Tons of Joy

HAVE YOU EVER:

  1. Dated someone twice = Nope
  2. Kissed someone & regretted it = Not at all
  3. Lost someone special = Unfortunately, yes.
  4. Been depressed = Clinically? no, but I’ve definitely had a few “blah days”
  5. Been drunk and threw up = Honestly? Never.

LIST THREE FAVORITE COLORS: (In order)

  1. Razorback Red
  2. Turquoise
  3. Gray

LAST YEAR (2010)

Have you EVER:

  1. Made a new friend = Yep! She tagged me in this note.
  2. Fallen out of love = Nope!!
  3. Laughed until you cried = Of course! Best tears ever!
  4. Met someone who changed you? = I’m marrying him 🙂
  5. Found out who your true friends were = Oh yes.
  6. Found out someone was talking about you = Yep.
  7. Kissed anyone on your FB friend’s list = I’m marrying him 🙂

GENERAL:

  1. How many people on your FB friends list do you know in real life = I know all of them in real life, but only about a quarter do I regularly have the opportunity to get together with in my day to day life.
  2. Do you have any pets = That live with me – no. But I have 2 adorable dogs that live at my parents’ home.
  3. Do you want to change your name = Come October 15th I ‘ll have to…
  4. What did you do for your last birthday = It was very low-key. I had dinner with my parents and then dinner with Adam.
  5. What time did you wake up today = 7:00
  6. What were you doing at midnight last night = Watching episode 3 of Dallas while trying to fall asleep
  7. Name something you CANNOT wait for = My wedding day and subsequent Napa Valley honeymoon
  8. Last time you saw your Mother = Yesterday
  9. What is one thing you would change about your life = Not a thing!
  10. What are you listening to right now = Strawberry Swing by Frank Ocean
  11. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom? = yep, used to work with one.
  12. What’s getting on your nerves right now = Not knowing the whereabouts of my wedding dress…
  13. Nicknames = Meg Tay, Tay Tay, Moose, Meggie, Megs, Meg
  14. Relationship Status= happily engaged
  15. Zodiac sign = Gemini, the BEST one
  16. He or She = He, if it’s talking about who I’m attracted to.  She, if it’s what I am. <—What she said.
  17. Elementary = Prescott Elementary
  18. Middle school = PMS (Prescott Middle School)
  19. College = University of Arkansas. WOOOO PIG SOOIE!!!
  20. Hair color = dark brown
  21. Long or short = longish
  22. Height = 6’2″
  23. Do you have a crush on someone? = I’m marrying him 🙂
  24. What do you like about yourself? My eyes.
  25. Piercings = ears
  26. Tattoos = NO!!!
  27. Righty or lefty= righty

FIRSTS:

  1. First surgery= Jaw surgery #1
  2. First Piercing= [and only] ears.
  3. First real best friend = Lauren
  4. First sport you joined = T-ball.
  5. First vacation = Jekyll Island, GA
  6. First pair of trainers(shoes) = More than likely Nike, bu I can’t remember.

RIGHT NOW:

  1. Eating = Nothing.
  2. Drinking = Nothing
  3. I’m about to = Watch So You Think You Can Dance?
  4. Listening to = Imogen Heap
  5. Waiting for = The weekend and our first official wedding-related party!

YOUR FUTURE:

  1. Want kids? = yep
  2. Get Married? = October 15, 2011
  3. Career? = As long as I can write and work with graphics I’ll be happy.

WHICH IS BETTER :

  1. Lips or eyes = eyes
  2. Hugs or kisses = kisses, but sometimes a hug is exactly what you need
  3. Shorter or taller = As if there is any debate, TALLER!
  4. Older or Younger = Older
  5. Romantic or spontaneous = Spontaneous
  6. Nice stomach or nice arms = Arms
  7. Sensitive or loud = Sensitive
  8. Hook-up or relationship = Relationship
  9. Trouble maker or hesitant = Hesitant, I’m not a good enough liar to be a trouble maker.

HAVE YOU EVER:

  1. Kissed a stranger = Nope
  2. Drank hard liquor = Yep, love a good martini.
  3. Lost glasses/contacts = Who hasn’t?
  4. Sex on first date = Never.
  5. Broke someone’s heart = Probably.
  6. Had your own heart broken = Nope.
  7. Been arrested = That’s a negative.
  8. Turned someone down = Yep.
  9. Cried when someone died = Oh yes.
  10. Fallen for a friend = Sort of. If co-worker = friend, in which case I’m marrying him 🙂 (Are you sick of me saying that yet?)

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

  1. Yourself = Yes!!
  2. Miracles = Yes!
  3. Love at first sight = Yes, [one last time] I’m marrying him 🙂
  4. Heaven = Yes.
  5. Santa Claus = Duh! I want presents!
  6. Kiss on the first date = Depends on how the date went.
  7. Angels = Of course.

Dallas: Final Reflections

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit nervous about going on a weekend trip with someone I met on Twitter over a year ago, later friended on Facebook, and spent a collective three, maybe four, IRL (In Real Life) hours with. I mean, I knew we shared a similar sense of sarcastic humor and neither one of us take ourselves too seriously; we both just go with the flow. At least, that’s what I gathered from our Twitter and Facebook statuses. So I hoped for the best, and had a slight fear of the worst.

Why was I worried? Because we are so.much.alike.

We have blogged simultaneously, have unknowingly (well, until one of us posts it on Facebook) listened to the same song at the same time and share an affinity for Anthropologie. Maybe our strong similarities would be too much. Maybe halfway to Dallas I’d want to jump ship…because someone’s driving on the shoulder.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Except for the shoulder part.

We had a blast! We laughed and gabbed the whole trip. We found even more similarities between us, such as our love for vintage signage, vintage furniture, the houses of Highland Park, Italian food and perfectly tailored designer clothing works of art we can’t afford.

It almost felt like we were old friends. Jen Lancaster even asked if we were sisters. We just meshed. As far as I know, I didn’t get on her nerves – I mean, she’s still texting me – and she sure as heck didn’t get on mine.

So I guess the moral of this trip is that you really CAN become IRL friends through Twitter. Who’d a thunk it?

And Noelle? Thanks to your super cute Jen Lancaster approved skirt and shorts, you’ve now made me OBSESSED with bold print skirts and shorts.

(yeah, we’ve got that in common, too)

Up in SMOKE

Day 3

[click here to see Day 1]

[click here to see Day 2]

For me, the highlight of our trip to the “Big D” was a happy accident. On a whim, and at the recommendation of one of Noelle’s friends, we drove over to North Oak Cliff in Dallas to have brunch at SMOKE. We didn’t know much about the restaurant, except that their pancakes were to die for.

Well, lemme tell you. Only three little words can describe the meal I had.

Oh.My.Gawd!

As soon as Noelle pulled into the parking lot I had a feeling we were in for a treat. I immediately felt transported to another era, because SMOKE is a part of the adjacent vintage motor-lodge The Belmont Hotel. As such, the architecture was spectacular and the scenery breathtaking. It also didn’t hurt that the aroma in the air was scrumptious. My mouth was watering even before we stepped foot in the door.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I entered the restaurant, but what I opened the door to was a pleasant surprise. In a word, the restaurant was Texas. It was perfectly decorated with everything you’ve ever associated with Texas style – casual, vintage, cozy, and stylish. Plus, when the hostess seating you is wearing slightly torn jeans and boots, you know you’ve picked the right spot. It was? Impeccable.

We were seated next to the fireplace at a table for two and immediately eyed drinks we had to try. Noelle picked the Bluebonnet – a mixology she’s STILL combing the Internet for – and I chose The Icepick – which contained my favorite Sweet Tea Vodka in the world. Hands down, it was the best cocktail I have ever tasted: citrusy, southern and refreshing. I can’t wait to recreate it at home this summer.

As we looked over the menu, Noelle decided to go with the recommendation of her friend and ordered the pancakes, while I decided to try out their made to order omelet. I’ll let Noelle speak to her dish, but as far as omelets go, this was the best I’ve ever had. The fluffy eggs were stuffed with spinach, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and pork andouille shredded sausage. Additionally, my omelet was served with a side salad tossed in SMOKE’s own Radish Vinaigrette dressing, which I could easily have drank by the gallon. It was THAT good.

We both also ordered a biscuit and side of bacon. May I just say that this biscuit was the biggest biscuit I have ever seen, and I enjoyed every.last.bite. Additionally, the bacon? Oh, the BACON. It was at least a quarter inch thick, cooked and seasoned to perfection – I’m talking better than Petit Jean perfection (Arkansans, please don’t disown me) and caused me to feel guilty for not being able to finish my serving – I barely ate one piece! I even joked that we should take what bacon we didn’t eat to go and enjoy on the way back to Arkansas. Thanks to the bacon, our relationship came full circle at SMOKE.

Biggest.Biscuit.Ever.

Thickest and Tastiest Pork Belly Bacon Ever.

After stuffing ourselves to the brim at SMOKE, we decided to walk around the grounds of the Belmont Hotel. It literally felt like an alternate universe there. The vibe felt very Palm Springs and I even commented that I felt like I was at The Parker [based on my limited knowledge thanks to Bravo]. We walked up the hill from SMOKE to the lobby entrance and there it was: a pristine vintage Thunderbird convertible. I was in Heaven.

Then? I entered the hotel lobby and saw the stairs. The tile-trimmed stairs. My heart skipped a beat, or 10.

As I rounded the corner of the lobby, meandered through the bar, and walked out on the back patio I encountered what I have declared the most perfect view of the Dallas skyline on this trip. Though, sadly, this picture doesn’t it do the view justice – blame the photographer [aka moi]. Just pretend the skyline continues out to the right of this picture and imagine yourself sitting on the patio, sipping an Icepick and reading Jen Lancaster’s latest book. Stopping occasionally to take in the perfectly overgrown yet maintained flowerbeds, colorful mosaic walkway and the idyllic Dallas skyline in a single glimpse. I can’t wait to go back.

Then we walked down the stairs off the patio and back up to the top of the hill, where more rooms were located, each turn and incline leading to a more incredible view than the last and each step begging me never to leave. The perfectly unadorned architecture continued throughout with pops of vibrant colors appearing in outdoor furniture and hotel room doors.

Then we reached the pool. I have no words and I’ve run out of adjectives so I’ll let these pictures do the talking…

Unfortunately, we realized that we  eventually had to head back to reality and decided to begin our short trek back to the car. After we passed the final Bar Belmont sign, I knew this weekend of complete perfection was quickly coming to an end.

We had only two more stops to make: We Are 1976 and Sprinkles. Or, at least we thought we did, until we saw this:

The yard of this pepto-colored house was jumbled with all types of vintage chairs and we just had to make the block and see what was inside. Turns out the house appears to be under the ownership of four very nice Hispanic men, all of whom appeared to be straight as the day is long and share a common bond in refinishing diamonds in the rough. Every style and condition of vintage chair could be found in this house, along with a plethora of fantastic fabric options and paint finishes. If only I had a house to decorate.

One day, right Adam? 🙂

Final Reflections post to come…

Shelving & Shoes & Signs, oh my!

Day 2

[click here to see Day 1]

Saturday, I introduced Noelle to the shoe Heaven that is Nordstrom Rack. (It only took us 3 doors and 2 stairwells to find our way out of the parking garage…) Nordstrom Rack was having their one day only Large Size Shoe Event which I typically have great luck at, but, sadly, the selection for my size was a bit meager in Dallas. Noelle, on the other hand, had great luck finding gorgeous shoes – most of which were black sandals. 🙂

After browsing through some other shops, we headed off to meet Adam and his brother at IKEA so Noelle could buy some shelving units. Miraculously, we were in and out of IKEA in under an hour and a half! We’re so efficient. We Adam and his brother loaded the shelves into our car and off we headed to an uneventful lunch at Corner Bakery.

Adam channeled his inner Devo in IKEA

After lunch, we said our goodbyes and Noelle and I headed to NorthPark. Essentially, Mecca for shopaholics. We waltzed in and out of stores, fondled handbags we couldn’t afford – Balenciaga for me, Cole Haan for Noelle, swooned over the works of art in Carolina Herrera – and the Argentinean salesman, and obsessed over everything in Kate Spade. Life was grand.

MY Balenciaga Seashore Damier Tote

That evening, we decided to take a walking photography tour of downtown Dallas. May I just say that I fell in LOVE with the downtown? It’s so retro, yet modern and I just ate it up!

After a few blocks, we encountered the getaway of a newlywed couple outside of a hotel. We stopped to watch as the sweet couple were escorted out of the hotel by a trumpet and saxophone playing “When the Saints Go Marching In”. We watched as they said their goodbyes and hugged their families and I teared up a bit knowing that in just a few months that will be me. It was so sweet and so happy.

As we continued to meander through downtown, we came across lots of awesome vintage neon signs and learned that we have a mutual appreciation for them.

There was also an incident with a security guard in a bank building, because Noelle wanted a picture of the lobby chandelier. He left his desk in the lobby to come outside and tell us that because we were on the same side of the street as the building we couldn’t take straight up pictures of buildings.

His reasoning? Heightened security after 9/11.

My response to his reasoning? Yeah, we look like the typical terrorists.

Day 3 to come…

The ABCs of Meggie

Yesterday one of my favorite bloggers, Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers, posted the ABCs of PBF and it inspired me to write my own ABC post. I love learning about other blogger’s quirks and thought you probably do too! Otherwise, why would you waste your time reading my senseless southern ramblings? 🙂

  • A.   Age: 26
  • B.   Bed size: Queen
  • C.   Chore you hate: Cleaning every inch of the bathroom.
  • D.   Dogs: LOVE! I grew up with the best Cocker Spaniel ever, Sugar. Over the years my family’s dogs have also included Isabelle (a Basset) and Lucky and Mischief (Heinz 57s).
  • E.  Essential start to your day: iPod alarm clock. Even if I do snooze for a good 15 minutes after it first goes off. 🙂
  • F.  Favorite color: Razorback Red, duh!
  • G.  Gold or silver: Silver.
  • H.  Height: 6’2″ (and no, I didn’t play college basketball)
  • I.   Instruments you play: None anymore, but I can pound out some Christmas music on the piano once a year. I used to play Bb Clarinet and pit percussion in my school band.
  • J.   Job title: Training and Development Specialist.
  • K.  Kids: None right now, though I hope for a couple in the distant future.
  • L.  Live: Arkansas.
  • M. Mom’s name: Karen.
  • N.  Nicknames: Meg Tay, Meggie, Meg, Megs.
  • O.  Overnight hospital stays: ICU after a supposed outpatient jaw surgery in high school. Good times.
  • P.  Pet peeve: Misusing “me” and “I”. People who wear socks with sandals.
  • Q.  Quote from a movie:

The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

[Brownie Points if you can name the movie]

  • R.  Righty or Lefty: Righty.
  • S.   Siblings: One younger sister, Madeline.
  • T.   Time you wake up: Between 6:45 and 7.
  • U.   Underwear: Full coverage.
  • V.    Vegetables you dislike: Mainly just one – Mushrooms.
  • W.   What makes you run late: I’m usually early, but every once in a while Twitter might be to blame.
  • X.    X-rays you’ve had: More than I care to count on my jaw.
  • Y.    Yummy food you make: Cookies! Muffins!  Shrimp! Pasta! Cupcakes!
  • Z.     Zoo animal favorite: Baby elephants. (How’s that for specific?)