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Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Faves - Vol. 002



Happy Friday! This Father's Day weekend, my husband Matt and I are getting in lots of good family time. Saturday we're headed to my parent's home in the mountains to swim in the pool, take in the amazing mountain views at their log cabin, and celebrate Father's Day with my dad. Then late Saturday afternoon we're headed to the lake for a few days of my hubby's annual family vacation. I'm so excited for a relaxing weekend of drinking good beer, floating on the lake, hanging out with the cousins, reading on the porch, and playing flashlight tag. It's my idea of pure bliss. If you need some ideas for things to do this weekend, look below for some of my favorite things I've been watching, listening, and reading lately.

WATCHING:

Matt and I just finished watching season 5 of House of Cards which was another whirlwind of crazy, evil politics (that don't seem so crazy or evil these days). Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are SO good at playing Frank and Claire Underwood, the ultimate politcal power couple. I thought the very last scene in season 5 was a perfect ending, too. I already can't wait until next season!

LISTENING:

Jen Gotch, the founder and CCO of one of my favorite brands, bando, is one of my absolute favorite people that I've never met but have been following for years through Instagram. She is a hilariously relatable and creative woman who is refreshingly open about her issues with anxiety and depression. Jen recently did an interview on the Flash Dance's Conference Call podcast and I loved listening to it for another glimpse into her life, work, and fabulous personality.

I've also been enjoying listening to the Lying in Lakes station on Google Play Music to help satisfy my itch to float on a lake until I actually get to do it this weekend.

READING:

I've really been into reading memoirs of my favorite ladies lately and just finished Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham, which I would highly recommend if you are a fan of Gilmore Girls and/or Parenthood (two of my all-time favorite comfort shows). She's a great writer and it's nice to read about her early life and behind-the-scenes experiences.

I just started (and also highly recommend) the audiobook of You'll Grow Out of It by comedian and TV writer Jessi Klein, which has had me laughing out loud at work all week. With memoirs, I usually like to listen to the audiobook rather than read them myself, because it's nice to hear the author's voice read the book as it was intended to be read and they often ad lib, which gives you a little extra bang for your buck.

I recently finished an awesome YA novel titled A Million Junes by Emily Henry. I thought it was fantastic and I couldn't put it down. It's made up of so many wonderful things: a sleepy lake town, sunlit forests, ghosts, magic, Michigan cherries, best friends, longstanding family fueds and a beautiful Romeo and Juliet-like love story. It held a lot of nostalgia for me as I previously lived in a children's book illustrator's house on a Christmas tree farm on the shores of Lake Michigan for my 8th grade year (I know, right?). It was the most magical place I've ever lived and the way Emily Henry describes Five Fingers made me think of my time in South Haven. The book gets a lot more supernatural-focused towards the end which got a little confusing at times but all in all it was a fantastic summer read.

Happy Father's Day (or whatever parental influence celebration you may have this weekend)!

XOXO,
Chelsea

*intro image by Jenn & Dave Stark from the Style Me Pretty vault

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Faves - Vol. 001



Happy Friday! This weekend my MIL is getting married in Savannah, so the hubs and I are headed down there for the long Memorial Day weekend. We’re going on a Haunted Pub Crawl on River Street as a pre-wedding activity (so excited!) and we’re hoping to fit in a beach trip to Tybee Island and maybe some thrifting, too. Today I thought I’d start a new series called “Friday Faves” that will showcase some of my favorite things that I read, watched, and listened to in the past week. That way you have some fun suggestions for things to do during the weekend. Check out this week’s faves below!

WATCHING:

I finished up the latest season (S2) of Netflix’s Master of None, starring Aziz Ansari. I absolutely LOVE this show. It manages to be funny, heartfelt, and beautiful, while bringing up important social issues (that are often overlooked in other shows) in ways that are easy to relate to. This season starts out with Dev, the main character played by Aziz, in Italy, making pasta, eating lots of yummy food, and living a simple life in Modena. It’s definitely worth a watch...I’m already looking forward to the next season!

My husband and I also binge-watched the new Netflix docu-series, The Keepers. It focuses on the unsolved murder of a nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik, in Baltimore in the late ‘60s and delves into all the creepy and things going on at that may have led to her death. SO good. I will say that there is lots of talk and graphic details about disturbing events that could trigger some painful memories for survivors of sexual abuse, so maybe keep that in mind before watching. But it is a very intriguing and thought-provoking story that makes you want answers! I’m really hoping that some new evidence or details will come out now that the documentary has aired.

LISTENING:

I LOVE podcasts. I am constantly trying out new ones while keeping up with the ten or so regular podcasts that I listen to faithfully (I literally listen to them all day while I work at my office job). I will probably do a round-up of my top ten podcasts soon, but I wanted to shout-out to a new-to-me podcast, Here to Make Friends, which is a Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor In Paradise/etc recap show. I’ve only listened to the first episode of this season, which is about the premiere of Rachel Lindsey’s season on Bachelorette, but I’m already obsessed. The hosts, Claire Fallon and Emma Gray, are very personable and funny and smart. And their special guest for this first episode was Alison Williams, who I am also a fan of. For anyone that loves or loves to hate the Bachelor franchise, this is a great podcast to listen to. You will laugh out loud and totally identify with their observations and snark.

READING:

I’m in the middle of reading Joan Didion’s latest release, South and West. I’m a big fan of Didion, although I haven’t read nearly enough of her extensive library of writings, and this book especially intrigued me because I love reading about people’s perceptions of the South. Joan is someone who keeps notebooks, which is one reason I love her so much, because I have also been keeping notebooks of some sort for most of my life, to keep track of daily observances, overheard conversations, and interesting sights. This book was compiled from never-before-seen notebooks on a trip she took with her husband to parts of the coastal South in the 70s. So far I’m loving her insightful and objective observations. I’m hoping to finish this read this weekend.

That’s it for our first ever Friday Faves post! I love reading round-ups like this and often get inspiration for things to do on my weekends from reading other bloggers’ suggestions, so I’m really excited to keep up with this series!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

XOXO,
Chelsea

*intro image by Olivia Rae James for Glitter Guide

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meteor Shower Memories


In honor of tonight's annual Quadrantids meteor shower, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on three distinct meteor shower memories from my past. The first memory took place when I was in high school in the early-2000s during the Perseids meteor shower. I was spending the night at my friend Jen's house and she had invited her boyfriend and his curly-headed friend over to watch the star show with us. We brought mattresses out onto Jen's back porch and sat out there in the chilly fall night, counting literally hundreds of shooting stars. It was so magical that I just HAD to make out with the curly-headed friend. So there's that...

My second meteor shower memory was seven years ago, during the Quadrantids meteor shower in January of 2010. My little brother and our good mutual friend had the brilliant idea to avoid light pollution and drive way out to the country to watch the meteor shower. We put a mattress in the back of our friend's truck, bundled up, and drove out to the cow fields. As we pulled down a random dirt road, we met a long line of cars full of other people who had the exact same brilliant idea as us that night. It ended up being a nice little surprise. We lay in the back of the truck, drinking eggnog and searching for meteors, listening to the conversations around us. I think we only ended up seeing one or two actual meteors, if any, but the overall feeling of that night was very memorable.

My third meteor shower memory was also more memorable for the experience itself and the company I kept than for how spectacular the meteor shower was. It was a few months after I started dating my soon-to-be husband and we drove out to the country to watch the Perseids meteor shower. This time, no one else was out in the fields, and for good reason, as we didn't end up seeing a single meteor. But we did have a good time, laying on the roof of my car, Blueberry, getting to know each other better and listening to music through the open car windows.

You should try to see if you can catch any shooting stars tonight. Make it a to-do and invite people you love. Even if you don't see a single meteor, it will be a worthwhile memory, I promise.

XOXO

Monday, January 2, 2017

January Vibes

Happy 2017! Here's hoping for a cozy, colorful and fun new year. Instead of the same old resolutions, this year I'm choosing a theme: COMMUNITY. I'm hoping to make some new friends, strengthen my current relationships, volunteer, and get more involved in local politics and events. It feels like a good year to build up a strong community of loved ones and like-minded pals. Speaking of which, Matt and I will be getting married in front of our amazing families and closest friends this April. WOOHOO! It's gonna be an exciting year. I can feel it already.

It's time to kick off this year's monthly vibes series with January. This month, I'm feeling clean, bright, and minimal but cozy vibes. I'm loving the mix of cooler pastels with warmer natural tones and stark white. It combines a sense of the freshness of a new year and a desire to purge or cleanse with a sense of hygge (apparently the buzzword of 2016) and a desire for winter coziness.

What vibes are you feeling this January?

XOXO/Happy New Year!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Meet the Hargroves!: 4 months until we get hitched

Oh goodness, it's only FOUR months away! Yikes! We have gotten a few more wedding planning things accomplished in the past month but the holidays are really slowing me down. Here's what we have completed:



BRIDAL PARTY "ASK"

We officially asked our bridal party. Most of the people we had already talked to ahead of time but of course I had to do something more official [duh!]. I found cute "ask" cards from Marrygrams and Firefly Paper Studio to send to the adult bridal party members with a sweet note inside. And for the children in the bridal party, I found these adorable confetti poppers from Relish Print Design that "ask" them to be in the wedding. My nieces and nephew had fun exploding the poppers on Thanksgiving weekend at my parent's home. You can see the aftermath in the first image of the post.

REHEARSAL DINNER

We finished planning the rehearsal dinner with Matt's mom. We're having a Southern buffet dinner in the ballroom of a local hotel, followed by a slideshow his mom wants to make for us (so sweet!) and after-dinner-drinks at Normal Bar (where Matt and I met).

CEREMONY

We picked out our ceremony reading. It's an excerpt from a silly but sweet children's book from the '60s called "I Like You" by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. We also planned out the basics of our ceremony but will finalize with our officiant closer to the wedding date.

OTHER THINGS WE'VE DONE

- Finished our wedding website.
- Finished registering.
- Sent save the dates.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN THE NEXT MONTH

- Decide on the dudes' outfits.
- Find a florist.
- Order cakes and rentals.
- Order programs and signage.

HOW WE'RE FEELING

Pretty good. Focusing on the holidays is a welcome break from wedding planning. And it's nice to be able to get opinions and talk things through face-to-face with my mom, sisters, and family. We're trudging along, although I can't make up my mind on the final decor decisions. Ugh. Time is ticking.

Stay tuned for more wedding updates! #mattandchelseagethitched

XOXO


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Meet the Hargroves!: 5 months until we get hitched

In the last month, we've gotten a few big wedding planning items out of the way.

 PHOTOGRAPHER

by Twin Hearts Photography

We found our photographers! We're going with Lauren Gregg and Jackie Baxter of Twin Hearts Photography, based out of Athens. I love their aesthetic and they seem like good people. They had photographed a good friend's wedding that we attended this past May and I was impressed with them. They managed to get some amazing shots and they were so good at blending in with the guests that you were never overtly aware that there were photographers at the event. That's a big plus in my book!

BRIDESMAID and BEST WOMAN/GROOMSWOMAN DRESSES

https://www.unionstation.com/real-wedding/Spring-Wedding-Charleston-SC-Royal-MaryClaire

I settled on bridesmaid dresses. I decided to try something a bit unconventional (but cost-effective!) and have the bridal party rent their dresses. After doing some research, I settled on Union Station, because I liked how easy it was to navigate their website and the variety of style and color options. I chose two different cocktail length dress styles, the Kate and the Emma. As for color, I knew I wanted something bold and bright but in a color that would look flattering on everyone. I ordered a few swatches and then chose a really deep royal blue color for the gals on my side. The gals on Matt's side will be wearing the same dress style as my side but in a dark slate gray to match the guys' suits. In my mind, this all works out and looks great but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

STATIONERY



We also decided on our wedding stationery. I wanted something simple and casual but fun with modern font faces and a hint of bright color. I found a few great options on Paperless Post, ordered samples, and had Matt narrow it down to the winner, which was also my personal favorite: Charlotte Street II from Kate Spade for Paperless Post. The blue almost perfectly matches the blue of the bridesmaid dresses.

OTHER THINGS WE'VE DONE

- Reserved a hotel block (which was actually a bit of a nightmare as we found out that there were a few unanticipated sporting events planned the same weekend as my wedding).
- Ordered save the dates.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN THE NEXT MONTH

- Decide on the dudes' outfits.
- Find a florist.
- Order cakes and rentals.
- Send save the dates.
- Officially ask the bridal party.
- Plan the rehearsal dinner.

HOW WE'RE FEELING

I'm kind of questioning why I chose a short engagement. I guess so I could compact all the stress into fewer months but there are SO many decisions that have to be made. All in all, it's getting there and I keep trying to remember that the wedding will be fun and happy no matter what it looks like or what happens. Matt doesn't have much interest in the planning process but I try to really listen to him and put him in charge of things that he does care strongly about, like the music. He's already finished the cocktail hour playlist. And I still get his opinion on the things that he doesn't care about, too. 

Stay tuned for more wedding updates! #mattandchelseagethitched

XOXO

Friday, October 7, 2016

Meet the Hargroves!: 6 months until we get hitched

We've officially reserved our wedding date and it's only about six months away! That's right...we're tying the knot in April of 2017. Time to get planning! Here's what we've accomplished so far in only a week of being engaged:

THE VENUE




We've reserved our venue! The ceremony and reception will both be held at Little Kings Shuffle Club in Athens. Little Kings is one of me and Matt's favorite bars in Athens. They  have a great indoor area that has beautiful arched windows and a vintage-industrial look with lots of cozy seating. And the outdoor area is spacious and has a quirky vibe with cool graffiti pieces on the walls, a boat with a deck built around it, and an old red and yellow tin can rv (all of which will be great for photo ops). The ceremony will happen outside then the guests will head inside for a cocktail hour heavy on the mimosas and bloody marys. Then back outside for a brunch buffet. Speaking of which...

THE CATERER

 

We've nailed down a caterer! White Tiger Gourmet, a hip, quaint neighborhood eatery with delicious modern Southern food will be serving up a yummy brunch buffet for our guests. We almost have a menu nailed down and so far we're thinking a biscuit bar with toppings like pimento cheese, jam and honey, cheese grits, veggie frittatas, fruit, bacon, and other goodies. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

OTHER THINGS WE'VE DONE

- Figured out our budget
- Booked our officiant
- Started our guest list
- Chose our wedding party (we will officially ask them at the beginning of November)
- Started our registries and wedding website

WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN THE NEXT MONTH

- Book a photographer
- Decide on wedding party attire
- Find a florist
- Reserve a block of hotel rooms
- Order cakes and rentals

HOW WE'RE FEELING

Pretty good so far! We had talked about eloping to Vegas and then having a big party with our family and friends to celebrate. But somehow plans have evolved into a fairly traditional yet casual wedding. Some of the planning is stressful, mostly because I have no idea what I'm doing, but as we get new things booked and figured out, we get more and more excited.

Stay tuned for more wedding updates! #mattandchelseagethitched

XOXO