Chris and Carolyn's Wedding in Chapel Hill

The whole family (Mom's side) came together for the beautiful wedding and reception of my cousin Chris to his now WIFE, Carolyn. They had a beautiful ceremony in the church and it was sweet and short, just like we like it! Paul caught a few nice images, and there's more where this came from!

The reception followed at a very cool restaurant in Chapel Hill called La Residence Restaurant. The reception was on their tropical-like patio and it provided a very nice ambiance!

We got some shots of some family members... Paul caught a picture of me and then my cousin Kim. There's definitely a resemblance there! Also got a good picture with my brother, my parents together and of course me and my Paul Paul!

The dinner was very nice and the cake was even better! I am ALWAYS looking forward to wedding cake! YUMMMM! And of course the newlyweds looked so great! Such a sweet couple!

Every time the family gets together we like to get a lot of fun pictures! Specifically my two cousins, Beth and Marissa, and myself. We have been a little trio since we were kids, and here is a little photo montage of the three of us over the years, ending with Chris and Carolyn's wedding! I think we are all aging well! I definitely like how I look better in the later pictures than the younger ones!

Overall it was a great weekend! So great to see all of our family, catch up and of course celebrate the union of Chris and Carolyn! Congrats to the happy couple!

Storey's Birthday at Monterey's Mexican!

I hate getting behind on the blog, but I guess that's life! So this past weekend we celebrated one of my best friend's birthday's! Storey (or as I have grown to know her since 6th grade - "Kristin"), turned 31! We went out to a local Mexican restaurant called Monterey's and it was PACKED! I called ahead, but I guess Friday's are just that kind of night for them so we had to wait a VERY LONG TIME!

But in the end it was worth it as it was absolutely delicious! We enjoyed margaritas and an assortment of other drinks, great cheese dip and guacamole dip and awesome dinners! Desi and Tristan came out, so that was nice and we also got to meet a couple of Storey's friends... Rob and Saffron. It was a nice mix, and everyone definitely enjoyed the good food, drinks and conversation!

Check out some of the fun!

Afterwards we continued the fun at Ron and Saffron's with Storey, Paul and myself. We had a good time drinking chatting and stealing some great ideas for building cool patio furniture out of pavestone palettes! When we get to working on that project I will definitely be posting about that!

Anyway, Happy Birthday Storey (Kristin), we hope you enjoyed it and look forward to many more years of fun!

Elaine's 30th Birthday at 37 Main!

Last Friday we went out to 37 Main for Elaine's 30th birthday! It was a blast, we started out evening with drinks with Desi and Tristan at their place, and then headed over to 37 Main in downtown Buford!

Everyone had dinner and drinks as we impatiently awaited the performance of the 80's cover band 'The Breakfast Club' to come on. Once they were on, the party really got started and they were awesome!

Check out some pics of our fun evening!


Later on the party moved to the basement for dancing!

Unfortunately Paul and I had a wedding to photograph in Clayton, GA the next day, so we cut out early, but from what I hear the party was nowhere near over! I think Elaine, John, Desi, Tristan and the rest of the gang all stayed out until 6AM!

Elaine, I hope you had an awesome 30th! It seems like you guys really blew it out!

Our Final Evening in Vegas...

After skiing we headed back to the city to prep for our last evening in Vegas. After all that we had done throughout the week, I have to say it was a pretty uneventful evening, but we had a good time, and called it a night fairly early!

We had dinner at Triple 7 Brewery in old Vegas, we were all starving and were surprised when we got to the restaurant and there a was a bit of a wait! But it was worth it as the food was great, there was a great selection from ribs, to nachos, to steak, chicken fingers and even sushi!

Kara and Paul both ordered the brewery sample platter of the various beers they have, and they weren't disappointed! But there is one that taste like coffee, and even Elaine didn't like it. But Paul drank it all... nothings goes to waste when he's around, least of all alcohol!

After dinner we decided to walk Freemont Street one last time... I was in search of a souvenir t-shirt - which I didn't find, and John was in search of the arcade he had wanted to visit all week! Along the way, we saw a guy get arrested, saw the really HUGE cowboy sign and Bass glass, and found the Heart Attack Grill where ironically a man suffered a heart attack not more than a few days earlier! Crazy huh?

We ended up finding the arcade that John had wanted to visit, but unfortunately by the time we had gotten there he wasn't up for it, and we decided to call it a night. But not before we said "Hi" to this adorable English bulldog! She was attracting the attention of all the ladies! Isn't she adorable!

Well I'm now finally caught up... and this is my last post from our trip to Vegas. It was an awesome trip, and I couldn't end this series without including one of my favorite parts (our recording of the Bellagio Fountain)! It's so fitting, cause it is "time to say goodbye..." to Vegas!


Valentine's was Quite a Ride!

Our Valentine's Day only began with the visit to the Neon Museum, and the rest of the day was super fun! I honestly can't believe how much we actually fit into the day.

When we left the sign museum we decided to head out toward Red Rock Canyon Resort where we had heard about an awesome Mexican restaurant that had some great happy hour specials. Unfortunately with it being Valentine's Day, Happy Hour wasn't what we had hoped and we changed plans and went to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. I was actually surprised by the extensive menu and had trouble deciding what I wanted, they had everything from sandwiches, to pasta and pizza. They had some very nice beer options, and even had gluten-free meal, beer, and desert options!

After leaving BJ's we thought it would be nice to check out Red Rock Canyon. Unfortunately the park area was closed, but Paul was able to get a pretty nice shot from the road! That's definitely another spot I'd like to check out in more depth if and when we got back again.

Now it was back to Vegas we go! This was probably the most fun evening of our entire trip! We headed to the MGM Grand first, and found ourselves a Fat Tuesday's on the way into the Casino! We wanted to see the MGM Lion Habitat, but were disappointed to find that they had closed it a couple weeks prior. The Lions have been retired to a ranch outside of Vegas. Oh well, now onto New York New York! We took Molly's recommendation and rode the roller coaster in New York New York! It was pretty awesome!

After we left New York New York, we headed over to Ex Calibur where we met John and Elaine. Apparently they were pretty successful on the New York New York slots, so they were feeling good! And decided to get a pic with Sponge Bob... I bet Matthew will love to see that one!

We then decided to stop over at the Tropicana, and I was amazed by how nice this hotel was! It was very bright and clean, and I liked that. Of course, it did seem to attract the "Senior" crowd so we didn't stay long, but did get some cool pics on their bamboo wall! Look at these beautiful ladies!

By this time, it felt like we were just getting started, and it became a night of rides cause we headed over to the Stratosphere to hop on some rides there! I was surprised how nice the Stratosphere is considering it is an older hotel!

We all went to the top observation and John, Kara and I were all going to just hang out while Elaine, Kevin and Paul rode some rides. We got some cool videos of the experience. After it was said and done, I gave in and decided to ride the Big Shot Ride, and it was AWESOME! I can only somewhat compare it to Archophobia at Six Flags, but even crazier cause you are on top of a very tall building to start and then go up even higher! And it's crazy cause once you start to go up higher, you no longer see the building around you but just the city skyline around you! Insane!

That was me playing with a BIG slot machine! Too funny...

The night was starting to wind down a little, but was still not over cause after all those Fat Tuesday drinks and the excitement of the rides, we were ready for some food!!! We headed back to the mini van, had an exciting ride through the parking garage, and then headed to Peppermill for some huge meals! Luckily it's a 24 hour diner cause I think we hit it up around 2am and got some big breakfast meals and hearty sandwiches... I think every one of us had a doggy bag, and were ready to head back to the room to sleep off all that food!

Sushi, Shopping and Crafts with Yarden

The other night I met up with my friend Yarden for Sushi, a little shopping, and crafts! I always get these coupons from Victoria's Secret, so it was a reason to make this girl's night a reality. We, of course, enjoy these little girl nights and when crafts are involved, for some reason we always get carried away and absolutely lose track of time, and life in general.

We started our evening with our favorite, SUSHI! We had a delicious dinner at Happy Sumo in Norcross, it's close to the forum, and it was just what the doctor ordered! I had my usual Bagel Roll, and their special Volcano Scallop Roll, and it was fabulous! And of course Yarden got her usual California Rolls as always (so predictable)!

After leaving Happy Sumo, we headed over to the Forum at Peachtree Corners for a little shopping. First stop was VS and I had some decisions to make, it wasn't too hard and I used my coupon for some more leggings! The PINK Leggings are the best, I absolutely love them! And luckily I hit it at the right time and get a PINK Dog with my purchase, that was perfect, cause not only was I getting something for me, but I also was able to get something for CHUNK!

Yarden had to stop at Barnes N Nobel for a book, but after that it was onto our crafting! YEAH! So I must start this with the fact that I am a very good and thorough researcher, part of me feels like I should have been a researcher. Anyway, when searching through Pinterest, I stumbled upon a crafting website I had never been before, and I was in a new craft heaven! This website is called Craft Gawker, and it's like Pinterest, but as you can tell by the name, it's just for crafts! So after stumbling upon this, I found a super cool, and fairly easy project for to work on for the evening.

Adorable leather bow bracelets! How fun are these?! Next stop Jo-Ann Fabrics... luckily they are open until 9PM! So the items we really needed to complete this project included.

  • Leather Scraps (you can use pleather if needed)
  • Button Snaps
  • Thread
  • Super Glue

Yarden had the thread and Super Glue at the house, so all we needed was the Leather Scraps and button snaps. Yarden and I each bought a bag of leather scraps, and shared our button snaps. You could do this project for $15 or less, and end up with 5 or more bracelets...

So you first start with the leather, cutting out an oval shape measuring about 8-8.5" in length and 4" wide at the middle. Depending on the size of your wrist you can adjust this up or down.

Prepare some thread to be able to wrap around the center, you'll need this once you have leather folded. It was nice having Yarden's help to hold the folded leather, but if you don't have help, you can always use a clip or rubber-band to hold it while you wrap the thread around the center.

After you have the center tied, you will need to sew your snaps on. First test it around your wrist and get an idea of where to best place each snap button. Notice, one snap should be on the front of one flap and the back of the opposite flap.

Once the snaps are attached, you'll want to cut out your rectangle strip to wrap around the center. Again test it out and see what thickness you like and make sure it's long enough to wrap all the way around before you do your final cuts and gluing. After you have your strip ready, you can glue it! I started with a dab of super glue in the center and stuck my bow down in the center and then added some additional glue to the strip as I wrapped it around the bow. Let it dry for a bit and viola! You now have an awesome bow bracelet that totally makes a statement and it doesn't take forever to do! We love crafts!

I made a few extras... I even did a Navy one with a chocolate-brown center strap! So cute! And lucky for those that comment on the post, you will be entered into a drawing to get one of these adorable bow bracelets compliments of Perdueosity! So be sure to comment!

The winners (yes we will be selecting two) will be drawn on January 25th, 2012, and we will contact those winners via email and mail them their bracelet!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I leave you with Chunk enjoying his new PINK dog! He's so cute!

Thanksgiving Holiday in PCB!

Paul's parent's have some awesome condos right on the beach in Panama City Beach Florida, and we have the privilege of using them on various occasions, and Thanksgiving was no exception!

Paul and I headed down after work Wednesday, to sleep in, relax and prepare our bodies for an amazing Thanksgiving Dinner at the Boat Yard. It was pretty awesome as they prepare a family style dining experience for Thanksgiving where you get a 26 lbs Turkey, and all the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner dressings, of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, veggies, green bean casserole, and my favorite cranberry sauce! And of course they topped the meal off with some pumpkin pie! It was a great time, and they even had live music (a local saxophonist).

Also, on a very impressive note, they pack up the turkey carcass, turkey and any left-overs, so you can take it home and eat it for the rest of the week! How cool is that?? We actually took the carcass home, and Paul is making up some delicious Turkey Soup! YUMMM!

While that was the main highlight of the weekend, there was some more fun to be had! Following dinner, we all of course went back to the condos to chill, nap and let the turkey tryptophan wear off. Once we were able to get the energy back on, we decided to head over to the movies and were totally entertained by the movie Hugo in 3D, and while I believe it is geared for children, it was actually a very good movie, one I would totally watch again! It has a very intriguing and elaborate story line, and is good for the whole family! Of course I think it could be a bit much for children under five or 6.

Thanksgiving Day wasn't over yet, we headed back to the condo to hang out and wait for Midnight so that we could take part in the Black Friday fun, starting at 12AM!

Elizabeth (my sister-in-law) and I decided we were going to hit up some stores in Pier Park in PCB. Target was open at 12AM Friday, we decided that was going to be our first and "main" stop. This was the first time that Elizabeth had gone out for Black Friday, and I think she may actually do it again in the future. Of course it really is one of those thing that you need to do advance research on, as there seems to be either very specific deals in places like Target, and smaller stores have what you would be surprised to find, like 40% EVERYTHING!

When we got to Target, there was a line to get in, but by the time we walked to the front, the line had dissipated and we were headed in! We found a good amount of deals and were seeing people everywhere with LCD TVs in their carts. We weren't really looking for anything specific, so we got a mix of good deals and just stuff we had to have. And while we thought we would only be out for about an hour or so, I think we actually spent almost 2 hours in Target alone! We roamed around and as we were in the midst of our shopping spree, we noticed a line building around the entire store! It was INSANE. Ironically, we continued browsing, and by the time we were ready to check out, the lines were gone. Either time flies when you're having fun, or those Target checkers were moving in super speed! CRAZY!

Once we left Target, we moved on to some of the other shops in Pier Park, and were very excited to find that American Eagle was doing 40% off your entire purchase! YEAH! These are the times that we find more stuff for ourselves than others... but we did accomplish a good bit of Christmas Shopping too! ;) Other stops included Bath & Body Works, New York & Co., and Nike! Elizabeth and I were shocked when we finally got back to the car at 4:15AM! The couple of hours we thought we would spend out, turned into 4 hours of shopping... It was so fun!

The rest of the weekend continued with more fun, shopping (Paul's Mom really knows how to scope out the consignment shops!), eating great PCB Seafood (Bayou on the Beach and the Captain's Table), a Boat Parade and Festival (the 25th Anniversary in Downtown Panama City Beach), and just good old family fun!

Anniversary Weekend: Limo, Champagne & ARIA

The first evening of our wonderful anniversary weekend, started with an amazing evening on the town! We checked into the same hotel we were married at and stayed at our wedding night. We were married at Ventanas which was packed with great new exciting wedding events which others will be celebrating for years to come. And connected to Ventanas is the great hotel, HGI Downtown. We were lucky enough to get the Presidential Suite for our anniversary, and it is definitely worth the stay!

Following check-in we got ready for our evening out. Paul reserved our favorite limo driver/service James with .... and we were on our way, limo, champagne and now onto aria.

This was one of several dinner options Paul had thought would be great for our anniversary dinner. We made a reservation for 9:15, and got there in plenty of time to hang out at the cool bar and lounge. It was a very cool experience and moving from the bar area to our dinner table was like transitioning from one very cool space to another even cooler space. It was quite the experience!

aria's menu changes on a daily basis, so you never know for sure what you may be in store for, but every bit of the menu that we experience was extraordinary!

We started with several appetizers, the Thin Sliced Smoked Atlantic Salmon (with red onion, capers crème fraîche, and crispy potatoes), Lemon Ricotta Ravioli (chanterelle, shiitake, sage brown butter and parmesan), and finally the Pan Seared New Bedford Jumbo Sea Scallops (with white corn, bacon, and parmesan risotto). It was all AMAZING! We were absolutely blown away especially by the first two, the smoked salmon just melted in our mouth, and the Lemon Ricotta Ravioli was such a unique and amazing mixture of flavors with the lemon, ricotta and sage butter. You would think this could not be topped, but the entrees were even better!

Paul ordered the Slow Braised Colorado Lamb Shank (with soft polenta, swiss chard, garlic parsley crumbs, and natural lamb jus) and I ordered the Painted Hills Ranch Natural Beef Short Rib (with shiitake mushroom risotto, pea shoots, sugar snap peas, and tender carrots). AMAZING! The Lamb Shank was so tender and moist and HUGE! We needed a to-go box for that, and I cleaned my plate, with a little help from Paul. The Short Rib was absolutely delicious, and accompanied by the unbelievably amazing risotto, I was in heaven! FYI the Short Rib is something they have chosen to keep on the menu for a long time now, so if you aren't keen on change, it's still a restaurant you should check out if not only to try that Short Rib!!!

Before leaving this amazing establishment, we inquired about the very interesting chandelier and apparently it was a piece that was commission specific for the restaurant and has been inquired about by many. I don't know that I need to describe is so much as just show you...

Following that amazing mean, we hopped back into the limo for more champagne and limo photo fun!

And finally, back to the hotel for a fun little toast of the evening and our anniversary! SO MUCH LOVE!

Day Two of Mini Vaca: Perusing Downtown D.C.

Day Two we started the day with my cousin Vinnie's Wedding Rehearsal, but that was a short time before we headed back to D.C. to meet up with friends for dinner, drinks and FUN!

Check out some of our evening festivities!

We went for Sushi, Hookah and Drinks at Gazuza Lounge in Dupont Circle, and it was amazing! I'm not a hookah person, so I did not partake in that, but I did absolutely enjoy the sushi! The Sabotage Roll was the best! It will set your mouth on fire!!!

Me and Ashley enjoying the atmosphere! Paul was able to get some fun shots!

Then we headed around the other side of Dupont Circle to Eighteenth Street Lounge. A hip bar with good music and lot of interesting people (great for people watching)!

Jeff and his friends, Aliya and Cat... having a good time!

One of the only pics of Paul and I together on the trip! Thank you Ashley! :)

Me and Ash getting our buzz on!

Paul, doing the Jeff pose! haha

We had parted ways with Jeff and his friends at the Eighteenth Street Lounge and decided to meet back up with them. After leaving Dupont, we headed over to U Street for some more bar hopping. We stopped in one of  Jeff's favorite stops, Queen Makeda, it was pretty cool, but a little empty for our taste and Jeff and his friends weren't there, so onto the next stop!

From there we reunited with Jeff and his gang at Black Bird's or Black Cats... I'm really not sure! But it was a really cool spot and a nice place to end our D.C. bar tour!

And last, but certainly not least we stopped into the place that Jeff calls JUMBO SLICE, and had like a quarter of this huge pizza per person! It was definitely a good stop after a night of drinking, of course definitely off our diet. Oh well, it definitely hit the spot!

We made it home safe and sound, and actually woke up in plenty of time to head out to MD for the wedding (it started at 2PM and Paul was photographing so we had to be there early)! This was truly a busy weekend, but it's totally awesome to experience D.C. in new ways every time we go!

Click here for the full gallery of pics!

Sushi and Laughs for Biscuit's Birthday

For my Biscuit's (Monica's) birthday, we did it up with a fun-filled day and evening of good eats and laughs.

We started out the day with a trip to the Home Show with my Mother, Trey (my nephew) and Desi! It was a pretty good time once we got over to Cobb Galleria. We stopped into Buckhead Pizza Co. and Monica and I tried their Gluten Free Pizza - It was AWESOME!

Then we headed into the Home Show, and Desi got to meet her  HGTV Curb Appeal Idol, John Gidding, as you can tell she was very happy and excited!

Then onto the evening at Zest Sushi and Tapas Bar in Roswell, GA. Monica LOVES sushi and made a point to me that she will have sushi for her birthday. It was actually a great place to start the evening as it had a great atmosphere, Tapas for those whom aren't fans of sushi, and awesome sushi! Everything was cooked, and seasoned to perfection, the presentation was top-notch! The atmosphere was warm and contemporary trendy. The entire package was amazing! Our meal started with calamari, pan seared scallops, lamb lollipops, spicy shrimp over mashed potatoes, dinner consisted of several delectable rolls of sushi, and we ended it with a chocolate soufflé and cheesecake! Don't worry we shared it with 8 super cool people!  Everything was absolutely phenomenal! We were all very satisfied with this great restaurant.

From the restaurant we moved to Andretti,  unfortunately not for racing, but for a comedy show! Funny Farm Comedy Club has moved their shows to Andretti, and the new location was not quite what I expected, but the comedians and show more than made up for that! We saw Pat Dixon, someone we haven't seen before, but definitely would check out again. He was hilarious, with his dry humor and wit! You should definitely check him out!

Overall I think the Biscuit Birthday was a success, doesn't she look happy? Awww I love my Biscuit! Happy Birthday baby