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

A Holiday Survey!

I came across this survey over on PB Fingers and thought I’d share my responses with you.

Enjoy and feel free to play along in the comments or post to your own blog!

  1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate. With peppermint.
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We always have at least one Santa gift wrapped under the tree, but most were unwrapped and sitting around the tree.
  3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White is preferred, though I also have an appreciation for the vintage colored bulb strands.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? Growing up, my parents always hung mistletoe in the hall of their home.
  5. When do you hang your decorations up? Typically, we decorate our home the weekend of Thanksgiving.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Christmas morning my mom makes a breakfast casserole and an amazing bread dish she calls “Tutti Bread” – it’s smothered in a poppy seed mustard mixture, cheese and topped with bacon. Deeeelish!
  7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? My family gathering at my grandmother’s house on Christmas night and singing Christmas carols. A family favorite was “Twelve Days of Christmas” and we’d break into groups for each “day”. My uncle had the 5 golden rings part down! A close second would be The Advent Wreath mishap.
  8. What is on your Christmas wish list? Anything from my holiday gift guide!
  9. Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve? Yep! We get to open one pre-designated gift on Christmas Eve and it’s almost always a new pair of PJs.
  10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With random ornaments that have either been given to us or bought by us over the years. I much prefer a mismatch of ornaments that have meaning!
  11. Snow? Love it or dread it? Love it!! Too bad we were more likely to get ice than snow at Christmas in Arkansas.
  12. Real tree or fake tree? Real!
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Probably the Playmobil Victorian Dollhouse. My sister and I spent countless hours playing with it growing up. I loved making up stories for the dolls and tucking them in to their beds. I think it’s still stored in my parents’ attic and I occasionally dream about playing with it as an adult. It was seriously a gorgeous dollhouse.
  14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? The memories made with family.
  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I am always up for a large serving of my mom’s dishpan cookies.
  16. What is your favorite tradition? I love going to the 11 o’clock Christmas Eve Candlelight service with my family. It’s a wonderful and peaceful service that reminds me every year what the season is truly about.
  17. What tops your tree? An angel always topped my parents’ tree, but this year Adam and I have a star topping our tree.
  18. Do you prefer giving or receiving? I love giving gifts, but I also equally love snooping to find out my gifts.
  19. What is your favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
  20. Candy canes, yuck or yum? YUM!!!!
  21. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf!
  22. What do you leave for Santa? Dishpan cookies and milk.
  23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? My sister and I always had to wait and come down the stairs together before we could open our presents. We always wear our new Christmas PJs.
  24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall? Lately, I’ve enjoyed shopping online, but there are some gifts that are just easier to find in-person at the mall or local shops around town.
  25. Christmas letter or Christmas card? Christmas card.

Noses are Deceiving

Now that [almost] all of the boxes are unpacked and I’m slowly able to start accessorizing rooms, I’m feeling more settled. Adam’s old “grandma chic” bachelor pad apartment is starting to feel like the home in which we’ll start our life together.

Every day this week I’ve made a concerted effort to make a visible dent in a random room as far as organization goes. I’ve stored books and papers from my old cubicle in my old dresser we refinished, hung pictures, replaced lamp shades, put away our china, and pulled out my Scentsy.

Y’all have one of these, right? I’m obsessed with mine. I love letting the scents permeate my apartment and now that I’m working from home all day you better believe I have it on all day every day.

Back in September, on a rare trip to Wal-Mart, I bought some wax cubes by Better Homes & Garden. I wanted to have seasonal fragrances like Apple Strudel, Pumpkin Pie, Blueberry Muffin, and Gingerbread. Tuesday, was my first day to use my Scentsy warmer since moving and I chose to put in a Gingerbread cube. I put it in mid-morning and had forgotten about it until Adam came home from work that evening.

He walks straight to the kitchen looking for a freshly baked batch of cookies. I felt horrible that the Scentsy led him astray so that night, we worked late cleaning the counters and putting away the remaining wedding gifts and serving pieces I already owned. Essentially, we made the kitchen usable.

And yesterday? Because I wanted an excuse to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Adam got his cookies. Dark Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip.

This time, the scent he smelled as he walked through the door is edible! Given the fact that he ate almost an entire dozen by himself in one hour, I’d say he thought they were scrumptious!

Dark Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/4  cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla until all ingredients are blended.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well as you go.
  6. Stir in chocolate.
  7. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Yield: 5 dozen

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.

Not Just a Dance Teacher

Warning: An uncharacteristic “sappy” post follows. My dance teacher of 7 years, Shirlene Gills, passed away Saturday, August 20, 2011. Ever since I learned of her death it has been on my heart to write down just what she meant to me.

In 1995, I changed dance studios to a relatively new one in my hometown. Rather than have my mom traverse 45 miles – one way – at least once a week for classes, we joined Shirlene School of Dance and never looked back. At the time I would never know what a blessing it was that she would be my teacher, nor would I realize what a positive impact she would have on my life – not only as a dancer, but as a human being as well.

Her studio was across the street from the courthouse in an old office building. The door was painted hot pink and in the window she had placed a “life-size” ballerina sculpture she had created in college from scrap metal that sat atop a record player. If it wasn’t for that sculpture, you’d never even know it was a dance studio.

Her studio was nothing fancy – the waiting room held dark green plastic patio chairs, but once you passed the half wall that separated the waiting room to the studio and watched Shirlene teach you knew something amazing would go out that hot pink door. When she wasn’t she was sitting in her vintage wheeled office chair taking choreography notes or picking out costumes, she was on the plywood studio floor dancing full out with us. Whether it was for a fair talent show, a regional dance competition, a nursing home performance or her annual recital, every piece of her choreography was special.

Shirlene was a rare talent in a small southern Arkansas town. She had studied dance under some of the greats, like José Limón and Bill Cratty, and imparted so much of her training and knowledge to small town girls who otherwise would have never been exposed. Mrs. Shirlene is the reason I know who Martha Graham and Isadora Duncan are and I credit her for my appreciation of contemporary choreography today. In any genre of choreography, Shirlene was never afraid to stretch our abilities, never afraid to think outside of the box. From ballet, tap and jazz, to hip hop and modern to liturgical, we danced it all under her guidance.

She challenged us, especially the seniors by requiring us to choreograph our own solo. It was like our dancer’s rite of passage. She was there to offer suggestions and encourage us along the way but ultimately the piece was up to us. From the style, to the music, to the costume, we owned that piece of the recital and while stressful, I think every senior who had to go through that process came out more confident and creative.

I remember my senior solo rehearsals like it was yesterday. I wanted to do a tap piece, so I rented all of the great Gregory Hines videos I could get my hands on, ultimately falling in love with the movie “TAP!”. I came in to my first “rehearsal” with Mrs. Shirlene excited about all of the steps I had seen in that movie and impatient to begin working them into my solo. The whole time, she sat by her desk to the right of the studio floor – which was covered in mountains of CDs – while sipping on her Sonic Route 44 drink, smiling and offering gentle guidance here and there. We’d listen to the music together, I’d try to fit a step in and when it didn’t work we’d start the process over again. She had more patience than anyone should be given.

No matter what, Mrs. Shirlene supported us, not only in the studio but outside of it as well. She had a vested interest in each and every one of her students. She wanted us to succeed.

And at that final “senior solo” rehearsal? She’d present a graduation gift: “Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives” by Laura C. Schlessinger. She made me promise to read it before going off to college. It was her way of pushing us out of the studio nest and I still have that book to this day.

Mrs. Shirlene, Thank you for being such an amazing role model for all of your students. Thank you for challenging us, listening to us and molding us. I hope you know just how many lives you impacted through your dance and your character. You will always be an inspiration in my life and for that, I am forever grateful. May you rest in peace.

If you ever did a warm up with Mrs. Shirlene, chances are you danced to “Wasted Time” by The Eagles at least once. It was one of her favorite songs to use and has been in my head ever since I learned of her death. It’s only right that I end this post with that song.
(the song begins at the 1:26 mark)

Tuxedo or Tuxedon’t

As faithful followers of this blog I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m engaged and will be walking down the aisle to marry this man in October. I couldn’t be happier! So far the wedding planning has been fairly painless – the worst part was finding the bridesmaid dresses – and everything is coming together well! I think.

That is, until I started looking at tuxedos. Uh, I mean we – until we started looking at tuxedos.

First of all, I should tell you that within hours of becoming engaged I had Adam convinced that he and his groomsmen would be donning powder blue tuxedos with ruffled shirts for our nuptials. I described ad nauseum exactly what they would look like, down to the shoes and he bought it hook, line and sinker. Poor guy is so gullible.

Then, Adam began telling me how much he liked the look of traditional tails. But here’s the problem: our wedding? Is in my small hometown in Southwest Arkansas. It’s your typical laid back southern town and I love that, but I also love Adam and didn’t want to deprive him of his dream – even if it was a bit formal for our fête.

So I asked his mom what she thought. She laughed. A lot.

Then I asked my mom. She wasn’t buying the idea, either.

Finally, in an effort to gain a full consensus, I asked the big gun. She doubled over laughing. Literally.

Adam’s dream of tails was dashed – unanimously.

Tuxedon’t #2: [Not] Chasing tails

Then, the Royal Wedding happened and I become enamored with morning suits. They seemed to be an almost perfect compromise for us. Almost tails, but not uber formal. Relaxed yet traditional. Classic. English. It just might work. Then I realized that they are almost impossible to find for rent, not to mention renting one for my 6’8″ dad. So we nixed that idea, but I still love a good morning suit. How could you not?

Tuxedon’t #3: Morning dress: It makes every man look dapper…unless you’re a giant.

At this point, we’re 0 for 3 on the tuxedo front. Which should mean our options are significantly less than when we started almost 6 months ago, right? Wrong. Did you know there are are approximately 3,581 options remaining for picking out tuxedos? Now you do.

Allow me to explain.

While we have now realized that we want the standard tail-less tuxedo, we have to choose the color we want. Do we go with khaki or gray? Black or pin-stripe? Once that’s decided we have to choose the style of lapel. Do we like shawl lapels or notch lapels? Diamond shaped shawl or satin trimmed notch? Then there’s the issue of buttons. One button, two buttons or no buttons? It’s pure torture. And the combinations for all of these options are endless and look different every. single. time.

Once the jacket is decided upon we have to pick pleated or flat-front trousers. Easy enough, since I prefer flat front. Phew. That’s one decision made. I hope.

You’d think at this point the decisions would be easier. You’d be wrong. Again.

You see, at this point in the tuxedo shopping extravaganza the issue of shirt comes into play. Did you know there is more than one type of button-down shirt for tuxedos? I didn’t. There’s the laydown collar or the wing collar. Easy enough to choose between – if you knew what type of tie you wanted.

So once you [hypothetically] settle on the 2 button black tuxedo with satin-trimmed notch lapels, flat front trousers and white shirt with lay down collar you have to choose the windsor tie style. But I’m not just talking colors, I’m talking patterns: paisley, diamond, striped or solid. Then, and only then can you pick a color for the tie. Sounds easy enough right?

Unfortunately, at this point in the tuxedo selection process your brain is so tired from choosing lapels, buttons, and tie style that colors like ecru, mocha, champagne and white cannot be differentiated.

Thus causing you to abandon all efforts and forget you spent an hour and a half deciding between shawls and notches.

Lucky.

That’s the word continually running through my head right now.

20110526-103328.jpg

Just before midnight on May 24, 2010 Adam’s parents’ home was destroyed by an EF3 tornado. Their home for 30+ years. The home where he and his brothers were raised.

His parents were asleep when the storm was about to hit. They woke up with only enough time to ride the storm out in the floor between their closet and bed. They escaped with minor scrapes and bruising. It could have been much worse.

20110526-103422.jpg

They are lucky they are alive. God was certainly watching over them and I praise him for his mercy.

Lucky they have been able to salvage family photos and other sentimental items.

Lucky they have friends, family and neighbors sacrificing their time to help them however the need it: sorting through the rubble, doing laundry, cutting up trees to get into the 2 hardest hit areas of their house (the kitchen and living room) which are mere crawl spaces now, and showering them with food and supplies.

Lucky their vehicles and farm equipment, for the most part, sustained minor damage and are all still drivable.

Lucky almost all of their clothing has been salvaged. (Including almost all of Adam’s mom shoes)

20110526-103447.jpg

Lucky that most (if not all) of the antique turquoise FiestaWare Adam’s mom had hung above the kitchen table survived. Unbroken. (The fate of the table appears positive as well)

Lucky that her KitchenAid mixer is a-okay.

Lucky that their liquor escaped unscathed.

Despite the destruction and scary realization that they must rebuild and start anew, Adam’s parents are incredibly blessed right now. It could have been worse. Much worse. They are alive and that is something for which I thank God.

20110526-103706.jpg

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…