Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monogrammed Indulgence

If you know me at all, it's no surprise that I love monogrammed products. I would probably monogram my entire life if (1) it wouldn't be so tacky and (2) My Hero would let me.

Since my phone is nearly grafted to my hand most days because of my job, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to monogram this technological gem...again. Natch, the protective casing is monogrammed, so it was only fitting for the other side to be as well. Indulgence is a luxury for this lady, but thrifty indulgence comes more frequently than My Hero brings to my attention (Thanks for overseeing my quirks, Sparky!).

Here's a pict of the latest initialization...harking Siri is a treat now even though she still can't answer any of my questions.

Lean & Clean in 2014!!!

2014!!! A new year! I L-O-V-E the beginning of another year! It a whole new 365 days!!! Am I the only one who is optimistic with the coming of a new year? I revel in this time of year almost as much as Valentine's Day. Almost.

Each year, I set new goals for myself...some that scare me to no extent and some that are definitely attainable. 2010 was the last year I set goals for myself that scared me to no end. I had no idea how they would turn out, but I ended up moving to New York City, having a successful job at Tiffany & Co., and met incredibly, talented and driven women who have forever changed the trajectory of my life. I feel that 2014 is going to be another year like that. I must say that I love every minute of my life the older I get. My 30s have been THE best yet.

Without further ado, my goals for 2014 are...

1) I've decided to start my own business as a Coach with Beach Body.
I've participated in Beach Body workout programs for years and have enjoyed each one. From Turbo Jam to 10 Minute Trainer to P90X to Chalean Extreme to Insanity to T25...I've invested a lot of my own time and energy into Beach Body's fitness industry that it only seems natural for me to become a Coach...I'm probably long overdue for this position, but better late than never, right? I am so excited to help others reach their fitness goals. #LeanAndCleanIn2014

NOT TO WORRY, I'm keeping my current job. I just couldn't imagine giving up a job I love so much! I have waited years to say, "I LOVE MY JOB" and truly mean it. I love the shoe industry. I adore my boss, how much she cares for her team, the knowledge she brings to the industry, her sense of humor, and her ability to be grounded when necessary. I love the team I work with on a daily basis. I honestly never thought I would be able to say this...EVER!

I can't wait for the opportunity to share my passion for fitness with other people now too! Please let me know what fitness goals you have. I would be happy to help you any way I can to achieve them.

Here's a sneek-peek at my new home office...tiny but effective:

2) We are going to have a family this year...I think...
I've waited 10 years for this and it might be 11 or more before it comes to fruition. I've been blessed with an amazingly supportive husband who's let me achieve my career goals (I drug the poor fella to NYC!) and he's given me nearly everything I could ever want...within reason (those Louis Vuitton bags hit hard, but the overtime hours I worked to earn them was well worth it!). We'd have more money in savings if it weren't for me, but he loves me none-the-less. Most of all, he loves me unconditionally. I've never experienced a relationship like this and couldn't imagine my life without it. I look forward to our next chapter in creating a life to share that kind of love with.

3) Adoption
It shouldn't be any surprise to my closest friends how passionate I am about adoption. I've know from a very young age that this is the path Christ set before me. There is a child out there that needs our love and support that no other parents can bring. I will not waver on this decision. 2014 will be the year that we fervently plan for this child, pray over him or her and continue to make preparations in our savings. The adoption process can take years and, while we don't yet have our own family yet, we should be planning for it. This is a 5 year goal that I am holding firm to and hope that my friends will hold me accountable of. I may be an old mom to my children, but I'll definitely be fit and cool!

What are your goals for 2014? What are the goals that scare the poopy out of you? I know that starting my own coaching business will take a lot of my personal time and money, but I know that it's an opportunity for me to help others. I know that having a family won't be all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but my heart yearns for the long nights and lack of sleep. I know that adoption will be tricky and that my child may eventually want to know his/her biological parents. I am scared of 2014, but so hopeful!

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Le Boudoir

One of my favorite places in any of the homes I have lived is the bedroom. I've always cherished this space as a personal sanctuary. I love all spaces of my current teeny-tiny condo, but, somehow, this space gets pulled together sooner than the others.

This room has been overhauled since our first tour in the condo (pre-NYC: Refer here - http://yallandyanks.blogspot.com/). The room was a chocolate brown with an extremely large 4-poster mahogany bed that was entirely too large for the room. The furniture was all very dark and heavy. Evidence is below.

The room is now a mix of modern and shabby chic. My Hero really wanted wanted the new decor (post-NYC) to be black and chrome...ummm, well, I did what I could to blend both of our styles. The walls are now a warm gray. We purchased a bed we both liked, but the wood was a poop-brown (Ugh! Yuck!)...so, I had it painted with a black base and white overlay. A tiny, white, cocktail server is utilized as my bedside table, while My Hero's bedside table is matte black...manly for sure. 

I am so in love with our new bedroom. Yes, I kept a few Tiffany boxes to remind me of the success, trials and best years of my life so far. Look out, 2014! I have a feeling the best is yet to come! 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Mirror Mirror...in the Parking Deck

While My Hero and I haven't been blessed with the pitter-patter of Littles yet, we still find it challenging to have a date night. Our lives are very full with church involvement, friends and work. We are extremely blessed with all of these things, but we've made it a point to have "our" time. The odds have been against our marriage in more ways than I care to count, so the moments I get to steal with my Mr. are the moments that continue to build upon our strong foundation.

While a recent date night took us a mere 10 minutes from our house and we held hands in silence through most of it, the time was valuable. Yes, even a Marvel Comics movie can bring us closer together! Seeing Thor was My Hero's request..can you blame me for not protesting? <insert wink here>

As a veteran dater, I find it extremely important to make sure there's nothing lodged in my teeth. Thank goodness there was a mirror nearby. This is true extravagance at its finest...

The elevator into the theater is definitely a cool ride worthy of a couple's selfie moment...#NoFilter. 

Date night at Charlotte's Epicenter...SUCCESS! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween Couture

I haven't really been into Halloween since college. I don't love it and looking back on my childhood, I don't really remember getting super excited about a Halloween costume. I don't recall ever really loving to play dress-up either. This is kind of a revelation to me, since I L-O-V-E playing dress-up in my everyday life. Each day is a chance to express little 'ol me!

Each year, the thought of planning a costume stresses me out. We are fortunate enough to attend an annual party where all we have to do is bring a treat and a pumpkin. This suits me just fine.

Well...I was perusing the lovely internet and I just happened to come across the most perfect Halloween costumes!!! Nope, they aren't for me...I'm just planning for future Halloween costumes for the little twinkles in my eye. So fabulous!!!!

My future son...will most definitely be Bill Cunningham. 

I still can't believe I got to meet him in person and snap this quick pick during 
Fashion's Night Out 2011 in NYC. 

 My future daughter...will absolutely be THE Anna Wintour. 
Wonder how long it will take her to master the icy stare? 

The full list of couture costumes for your little tikes can be found here - 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teacher's Pet

I get excited when the final school bell rings each summer...not because I am a teacher, but because I am married to one. I relish in the thought of summer vacation. I get equally bummed with the approach of each Labor Day. For teachers and the kiddos, this signifies the end of summer. For those of you that are solar-powered as I am, we also see summer's demise and cold weather all too closely at hand.

Each school year, I get excited to see how my friends' children have grown into little adults as they plaster pictures of "First Day of (insert grade level here)"all over social media. They are thrilled to send their Littles to school to seek higher knowledge...or free babysitting...depending on the child. <insert laugh here...parents, you know what I'm talking about> Well, this year, I am posting a picture of my husband, THE TEACHER. He seriously kicks major booty at his job. I am honored to be a wife of a teacher and of a man who followed his calling. He is truly talented at his profession. Anyone can teach a class, but not everyone will enjoy doing it day-in and day-out. Sure, it's easy to teach the willing students, but the trouble-makers, back-talkers, too-cool-for-schoolers are not as easily influenced.

All the THANK YOUs in the world wouldn't be enough for the great teachers in this world. I just ask that you keep them in your prayers every day as you send your children off to be in their care. Respect them. Be a team player with them. Communicate with them. Above all else, don't forget that they can make the difference between a wonderful school year for your child or a miserable one.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Musically Inclined

I was fortunate to attend public schools with phenomenal music programs growing up. I had several influential teachers, but my music teachers have instilled life-long skills and the value of a strong work ethic. Hours of practice and sore fingers granted me first chair in my middle and high school orchestras as I worked my way up to Concert Mistress as a high school Junior. I held this responsibility throughout my Senior year. I may not like all types of music (hard core rap or heavy metal), but I definitely appreciate it all. I've even grown quite fond of country music. Afterall, I did marry a country boy and our first dance following our nuptials was "Forever and Ever, Amen" by Randy Travis.

My grandfather played the violin and I am told he was the best in town. Sadly, I never heard him play as he developed carpel tunnel syndrome. His voice led him to sing a different tune (HA! Get it...a different tune)...After years of playing the violin and proving that I would continue my studies, I inherited my grandfather's violin which was used to complete a minor in violin performance in college. Several years after that, I inherited my grandfather's music cabinet, which was full of treasures. Age had taken most of the music, but I was able to salvage of few notes - the cover of two books and 2 sheets of his personally scribed songs he transposed for the violin. Theses gems finally have a home on my wall. Bless these memories of a man who will live in my heart, fingers, and all musical notes that flow from this soul.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Press On

This is how a city girl irons her clothes. I jest...I may not cook very well, but I can iron like a champ. I've become quite the pro at NOT ironing though. It truly is a skill set to be able to wash a shirt, pull it out of the dryer and implement a hand-press + hang method to rid said shirt of 92% wrinklage.

There are the occasional mornings when a collar or pocket doesn't meet my approval. There's usually not enough time to pull out the full iron, so the flat iron I use on my hair will do. Works like a charm. Press on, World! Press on!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Caught the Worm

This early bird was up and camera ready for Wilson's World on Charlotte's Fox New Rising this morning. It reminded me of my days working in morning news for NBC in Richmond, VA. I am a happy, yet wanna-be-quiet early riser, but there's just something about getting up at 4:00AM instead of 5:00AM. That hour difference in time is an hour even Jesus didn't care for.

The objective of the morning show was worth the earlier rise. Jon Wilson of Wilson's World produced his show from a Rack Room Shoes location and spoke about the Shoes That Fit program. Donations for the program are collected nationwide in all Rack Room Shoe stores. 100% of the funds raised are then given to schools in the area of each store to purchase shoes for children in need. Who doesn't get excited about a new pair shoes!!!

My Hero was extremely instrumental in getting the children to the store. We used our resources, a.k.a teachers with children, and had them arrive around 6:30AM. They were bright eyed and bushy tailed...as much as they could be. They all picked out shoes to wear and were on-air in no time. Check out the link below for snippets of the show. I couldn't state more how much I truly L-O-V-E my job and how much I love being part of something meaningful.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Shade Tree

Sometimes life gets so busy that I have to remind myself to breathe. I find myself holding my breath and realize that I am concentrating on so many other things, that I am gasping for air. Women are pros at multi-tasking and I definitely put myself in this boat. Nearly any position in the marketing field requires your brain to constantly have many things top-of-mind and perform them all simultaneously with skill and precision. As a Project Manager, I am continually thinking of my next steps for 2 shoe companies in areas such as social media, community outreach, corporate communications and public relations.

We are fortunate to have My Hero's family close-by. They live on a large plot of land just outside of the city and it's always a treat to visit. Just a few weeks ago, I had a surreal moment. I was acting like a guy. I was able to shut my brain off and just be in the moment. The day was quite warm and we had ventured up the dirt road from my Father-in-Law's house to my grandfather's house. We sat underneath the shade tree with PawPaw and just talked. The pasture was full of corn, the horses were crunching watermelon rind near the barn, the dogs were panting as they lay in the grass...what a surreal moment. Trickles of rain fell from the sky, but the large, leafy tree provided protection. These are the moments you realize life is wonderful. I never envisioned this life for myself, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I married into the best family and am so much more blessed in this life than I imagined I could ever be.
(PawPaw's tractor. Dirt road to his house. Corn fills the pasture.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gym Rat

OK...so I've never posted pictures of myself in a bathing suite, but I've been working my tooshy off since moving back to Charlotte and I'm finally seeing progress. Well, I think I had a really biased great photographer who was willing to take the pictures over and over to get the perfect shots.

I recently completed a super intense training program that was short, but not so sweet. I am recovering from a tweaked ankle, but having a smidge more confidence was worth it. Not many woman feel comfortable and confident in a bikini...including this one. I decided to be brave and post these picts so I can look back on them one day after obtaining stretch marks and wrinkles from the joys this life will surely bring. Only supportive comments are welcome. Leave the hateraide at home. Better yet, hate all you want...where were you when the clock called at 5:00AM? I was in the gym.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's Hump Day!

As an alumni of Campbell University, I have grown an affinity for camels. Yep, camels. I don't collect them, but I think I have to have (insert object name here) when I see one. So, you can imagine how much I love the new Geico commercial. While it is funny, I thoroughly enjoy that the camel walks with a bit of a swagger. Check it out and happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hair of a Tale

I got a new do! Yep...again...my friends tell me I do this a lot, but I wasn't so sure of it myself until I looked back through pictures from the past couple of years. Here's a pictoral history from 2010 when I moved to New York City until now:
My hair was uber short when I first moved to NYC (August 2010), but the $13 million necklace, 
"The Majestic", I wore trumped the boyish strands. The reality of this day will be engrained in my mind forever. My director asked me what the bauble felt like. Answer: "You'd know if it fell off!" 

With lack of a talented colorist and efforts to grow out the tresses, I embraced the natural strawberry color, while standing next to the classy Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere. What a gem she is! 
So blessed to have met her. 

The curls were coming out as My Hero and I enjoyed our first Fashion's Night Out in NYC in September 2010. Paying homage to my employer at the time. This picture will always carry of lifetime of memories for me and the full life I lived in nearly 3 short years. 

Pre-birthday dinner pictures in January 2011...the strands are getting a mind of their own and I was deciding that it was beginning to look like a wig. The look in my eyes was the look of wonder...a transformation was on the horizon. 

By July of 2011, I was back to my roots and feeling more like a Southern gal. I was back and blonde! 

My Hero and I enjoyed a fancy night on the town to celebrate another 30th birthday. I had run the NYC Marathon a few months prior and was in the BEST shape of my life, 
but I decided my hair looked like a mom-bob. Not a mom = no mom-bob for me.

Spring of 2012...back to saving money. Thank goodness the ombre look was in. I'd dyed my hair closest to it's natural color (never to be seen again). We were toying with the idea of moving back to the South and saving money was of the essence. Full-on blonde took a back seat to being the best little worker-bees and planning the next move in the game of life. 

Back in the South! My hair was trimmed and getting back into shape. It was no longer involuntarily falling out of my head in clumps. Phew! I decided on this road trip (where the picture was taken) that it was time to be blonde again. The sparkle and life was slowly coming back in my eyes, but my gold aviators were doing more for me than natural light. Bye-bye back burner...Fashion is top-of-mind again.

Wrapping up 2012. Short and Blonde. I used to think of this as my "Twiggy" picture, but all I see are the deer heads hanging on the wall behind me. My family hunts. What? That's normal in the South. 

Earlier this month (July 2013), my golden tresses were longer and quite lush. I have fine strands, but a lot of them, which makes for a puffy mop on a humid day. They were still nothing compared to the locks of this precious Angora rabbit I fell in love with while shopping one afternoon.

Here I am today....still July 2013. This is the bravest of looks I've done yet. It's totally short on one side and longer on the other. I look tired, but I'm glad to say it's from a great work-life balance. A few late nights here and there, coupled with a good tan from natural sunlight, make this one happy gal. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Work It Out

On a recent vacay to Charleston, SC, I ran across this poster. I just can't get it out of my mind. The image of Marilyn Monroe just seemed to be such an oxymoron. Who would expect the glamour goddess to be seen near a set of weights, much less working them out like a pro?!? I have made this image the newest screen saver on my phone. I see it every morning after turning off the alarm on my phone and dragging myself out of bed to go to the gym. I get a little chuckle, tie on my shoes and head out the door.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Musings

It's always a treat to pick up the latest issue of nearly any fashion or fitness magazine at the grocery store. I love the feel of the paper and the excitement of what the next page will bring. More than anything, it's my preferred way to read. I rarely have a few precious moments to sneak away to read, so having the ability to read an article or two is invaluable.

Let me introduce to you the fact that I am very thrifty where possible. I rarely purchase clothes at full retail price or anything else for that matter. I even worked for Tiffany & Co. to get a discount on the precious metals I have grown so fond of.  I am now working for a shoe company to cover my feet at a discounted rate. I do love a good pair of shoes. Enter my fondness for magazines...the cost of magazines is astronomical. Enter Next Issue...over 90 TITLES at your fingertips. Read: MAGAZINES GALOR for a minimal fee of $10 per month! Cue the sounds of an angelic choir. I've been on the free 30 day trail for roughly 26 days and I will definitely continue with this app. If you love efficiency, magazines and thriftiness, this is THE app for you. All you need is a tablet or PC. Sing-up and download the titles of your preference. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shattered and Tattered

Apparently I have a made a habit of breaking significant things throughout my life. I was always in a hurry running up and down the stairs in my parent's house. Going up is fine, but I always seem to have a problem going down stairs. I managed to rip the banister railing right out of the wall once. After delicately placing the railing, and the nail that ripped out with it, back into the wall and mending the wallpaper around the hole, I noticed that my parents were watching this whole process from around the corner of the stairs. The jig was up. I paid dearly for that one. There were several hours of labor picking beans in the garden that summer. Yuck!

I recently managed to completely tear out the hanging structure of my bedroom closet...that wouldn't seem too bad to any clothes-aholic such as myself...but the walls are made of cinder blocks with a layer of sheet rock over them. Yep. I promised my husband I wasn't swinging from the rod. I'd been asking for a new closet structure since the first day in the condo, but that never happened.

Much to my husband's dismay (he had no choice), we gathered measurements and headed to The Container Store. This store is the mecca of all organizational needs. They just so happen to carry fabulous closet structures. Since I've had many years to consider my dream closet for our micro-condo, I knew exactly what I wanted and creating the design took no longer than 4.35 minutes.  I am in
L-O-V-E with the outcome and can't wait for my husband's closet to cave in so I can do this all over again!
(My clothes found a temporary space on the floor of our workout room as we waited for the new closet structure to arrive.)
(Hot Newness!!! 3 rows of spacial glory in the micro-closet!)
(Install complete! All of my clothes fit with room to spare. I also repurposed a tie rack for my long necklaces which was this organizer's cherry on top.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Biscuits and Baubles

Following a nearly 3 year call-of-the-wild in New York City working for Tiffany and Co., this southern gal has returned to her home WELL south of the Mason Dixon Line. My previous adventures were chronicled at Y'all and Yanks...a blog fitting for this southerner's adventures in Manhattan. It's been over a year since my last post. To be quite honest, I was just tired. My husband and I needed some time to move back to Charlotte, albeit into my father-in-laws home, and prepare to move back into our home, which was preoccupied with renters at the time. We are finally back in our micro-condo and settling in nicely.

So it begins...another love-hate relationship with blogging. I'm not the best writer, but this is my outlet to talk about my life, fashion, fitness and all the lovely things...and maybe not so lovely things...that fall between. My Hero and I recently celebrated our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, so I thought this would be the perfect time to begin again. Welcome to Biscuits and Baubles! He's southern like a good biscuit and things that sparkle make me one happy girl.