Nesting and Super Hero Cake Toppers

OMG.

Can we just start there. Seriously, O-M-G. Calling on the good Lord above! I am stretched about as thin (if only!) I can possibly be. Between a bazillion festivals/events, family stuff, wedding planning, and.. and.. I’m really, really tired. Did I mention a cold? Car breaking down? AT&T sticking it to us?

Oh September… you naughty, naughty minx. You are truly back.

Okay, okay – a LOT happened within a very tight time frame. BUT.. in classic Nicole fashion, I got it all under control in about 3 weeks time. It took a little bit of biting and clawing, but all is right in the world.

  1. When things get hectic, my immune system breaks down. (Hello?!Meningitis 3 times!) In classic form, allergy season (for me at least) tried to take me down. I woke up with a burning throat. Every time I tried to swallow, it felt like shards of glass. Then there was the fatigue and constant sneezing. Just when I thought it was all over for me, right in the middle of festival season down here, I turned to my little friend Zinc. If I could profess my love to a vitamin, this would be THE one. I don’t know what it is about that little round, orange, melt-in-your-mouth, miracle pill – but Sweet Baby Jesus – I’m HEALED!
  2. Then there is the whole car scare. My dear little dependable Toyota Camry got sick too. She kept stalling. (I think she was as tired as I was!) I had to deal with the most unprofessional, worst dealership EVER in Albany, Georgia. I’m not just saying that because I am having a bad month (not week, not day – but month!) Never, ever, ever, ever take your car to Miracle Toyota. (Which seems to be the only Toyota dealership in the area.) That was a week-long nightmare, that, as far as I can tell (fingers crossed,) might have ended.
  3. Then AT&T. My sweet little AT&T. I loved my cell phone company and would defend it to the ends of the Earth. But my sweet little AT&T totally screwed up. I mean.. they screwed up big time. 6 attempts to fix a problem. Scenario: Tim decides to switch over to AT&T. So we add him to my account. He orders everything online and is told the phone is on the way. 2 weeks later – it never appeared. We call (and spend one hour on the phone) trying to find it. Ah.. they shipped it to my former address (which makes NO sense, since I JUST bought a phone from them and it was delivered just fine.) The phone was then simply returned to AT&T – no warning, no explanation. Nothing. Yet, I was being charged for it. Okay – we get another one shipped. (Now we are on try 3.) Comes, but with a different phone number. Again. Need his number to transfer. MORE time on the phone. About another hour. (not including the 45 minute delay in actually getting a live person on the phone.) Told us they would need to file another ticket and get technical support. They would call us back. Never. Now we are being charged for 3 lines – His, Mine – and this imaginary temp number. So we call back. Told they would make another ticket. Never a call. So we chat online – they say they fixed it. Yeah.. by deleting his phone completely. So I have to call back.. and on and on.. and on. Right now, we have his line back up, but they owe us about $100 – which has yet to be fixed. I. Just. Can’t.
  4. Did I mention we have 3 weekends in a row of festivals? Okay.. just checking.

 

But then.. there is the good stuff! I got the DJ booked. He’s coming from Macon and he will be playing the absolute coolest songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s (and some current stuff.) THIS will make all of the difference. I also booked my Pastor. It will be my very good friend, Tonya Parker!!! I’m so excited. We plan to have a small private ceremony at Tim’s church. Only family and a few close friends will be invited to this. I booked my hairstylist and makeup artist!! I bought a cake topper! It’s sooooooooo cute. It’s Super Man & Wonder Woman….. Needless to say, I am EXCITED!!! We booked the Presidential Suite at the Inn for that night (Yes, an ACTUAL Presidential Suite, as in Jimmy Carter’s special room) and we have the reception space. And yes, I have ordered the invitations and created a wedding page for us. Check us out at The Knot .

Still got a LOOOOOOOOOONG way to go, but with only a few months in between, it’s nice to knock a few big things out-of-the-way. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can afford any of the wedding photographers I wish I could get. I am surrounded by incredibly talented friends, who, in their own right, are highly successful photographers. However, I can’t possibly talk Tim into hiring them. I’ve tried. But they are all (and many are close friends) are at a minimum $2,300 – and he said he would rather have a fantastic honeymoon. Obviously, that’s the most logical choice. I guess I will just have to get creative with this idea. I’ll figure it out… I always do.

And a dress? Oh just shoot me now. I don’t have my “people” down here. My girls. My sounding board. I’m winging it alone, and I have no idea where to go or what to do. There are zero bridal shops in Sumter County (as far as I can tell.) I’ll have to go outside of here and I am simply lost. I just want an evening gown in midnight or navy blue. Argh!

As for nesting, I finally did it – I’m slowly but surely turning that bachelor’s pad of a pond cabin into a beautiful fall retreat. (Unfortunately all of my things are still in storage in Macon.) I’m adding little touches here and there and have the perfect excuse – our upcoming Lumber Jack themed Engagement Party. (We’re on a timber farm.. just go with it!)

Luckily Fall is upon us and I believe I am in the perfect place to enjoy that!

Until next time!

Let The Music Play

So I did it! I booked the most important part of the entire wedding process. I have a DJ, and not just any DJ, I got one of the best!

This past New Year’s Eve, I attended this swanky party at Suzan River’s home. Imagine this grand dame of an antebellum home, complete with big white columns and huge lion statues at the gate. This party was simply THE place to be. And the music.. oh the music, had both me and Tim dancing the night away.

Being the music snob that I am, I called my friend Priscilla (aka THE party planner in Macon,) and asked “Who was that magnificent DJ at the Rivers’ party?” And she told me!

I got his contact info, shot him a text, and less than 15 minutes later we were chatting up a storm and boom – he was booked. Just. Like. That.

The tone has been set. The rest… oh the rest are just details. 😉

Get ready to dance my friends!!

There’s Nothing Fun About This

I’m not quite sure what I have gotten myself into. But if I am honest with myself, I am a celebrator. That’s what I do – I like to celebrate things. Like.. this soon-to-be marriage. I want to mark the occasion – whatever that looks like.

Therein lies the problem – what does it look like?

Do I buy a dress? If so, what kind? What color? Is it wrong to wear white? Is it weird to wear a color? Should be exchange our nuptials in front of everyone or just family? Do we buy a big ridiculous cake? Just what should we do?

I get it… this is not my first rodeo. I know.. I know. Nor am I a young bride.

But more than anything.. it feels right. This is the real thing. How do you mark the occasion, if thing like that are a big deal to you, but still satisfy society’s skepticism and downplay the whole thing?

It’s just not in me. I want to shout from the rooftops, “Look who I have found and look who wants to spend the rest of his life with me!! Celebrate – with us!!” And really, who cares what other people think? It’s my life, and if I did not celebrate properly, I would regret it.

With that – I’m on to bigger and better things – Planning a wedding. This should be interesting. Money is less of an issue than in the past, but how to do you do thing tastefully, but authentically? I’m quirky and have a random/wicked sense of humor (like the  Super Hero photo booth idea) or the taco bar… or… Yeah.. you see where this is headed?

Just know that WHATEVER comes out of my crazy head, guests will have a damn good time!

Here’s to the future.. may it be just as exciting as the idea of marrying my favorite guy!

Wine, Western Wear, & Weddings

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About two weeks ago, Tim called me as I was walking to my hair appointment in Downtown Americus to inform me that we would be taking a spontaneous overnight trip on Saturday. Of course, as a proud member of the under-utilized Wanderlust club, I was completely over the moon. I asked him where we were going, and he informed me it was a surprise. I asked why? He said, “We have had so many things going on the past three months; I think we just need to get away.”

Now THAT I understood. Our dog had died, I had moved in with him, the girls had started school, I had started a new job – and to be perfectly honest, we have not slowed down. Though the entire trip was going to be a surprise, he did give me one little piece of intel – We were heading north.

I knew that could only mean one of potentially four places: Atlanta (3 hours away,) North Georgia Mountains (3 1/2 hours away,) Gatlinburg (5 hours or more away,) and Chattanooga (probably 5 or so.) I packed accordingly.

We set the alarm for 5am. THAT was tough. But we managed it well enough and hit the road all ready to go!

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So this man gets me. We drive up to Helen, Georgia and pull into the Habersham Winery. He had booked  a 5-Hour Wine Tour of the North Georgia Mountains with VIP Southern Tours. We started out at the Habersham Winery.

This one turned out to be my favorite in regards to taste and friendliness of our presenter. Probably because it was the only tasting that allowed us to actually pick what we wanted to try. I tend to lean toward the white wines and even sweeter wines. Tim was more of the dry red. We were with a few other couples, which made it very intimate. (Side note – drinking 5 heavy-handed poured 1/2 glasses of wine in the am before lunch was a little hard to do.) Needless to say, my cheeks were pink and my head a little sloshy by the time we got in the chartered bus.

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The next winery we visited was Serenity Cellars.

The next winery was very, very beautiful. You could tell that they put a lot of effort into the design and atmosphere. We tried about 6 different wines (much smaller portions) and then walked back to their wine cellar. After the tasting, we gathered on their front patio and had a delicious lunch. (I opted to try a red wine slushy with my lunch.)

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After Serenity Cellars, we drove a little further and ended up at CeNita Winery & Vineyard.

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This vineyard had the most educational presentation! Our guy kept us laughing with stories of how to be a wine snob and showcased the proper way to smell, taste, and enjoy red and white wines. The top picture of the this blog is me standing at that vineyard – the view was hands down the best one yet! After 6 glasses of wine there, we headed to Kaya Vineyards & Winery.  Amazing views!

We enjoyed the fact that this tour was in the actual wine cellar. I believe the entire group was hot, a little wine-logged, and having the coolness of the underground cellar made a ton of difference. As far as the wine went, it was a little acidic for my taste, but they were a very new winery, and honestly, wine needs to age before it is truly ready for consumption.

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Five hours later, we end up back at our car. Tipsy-ish and tickled to have spent an entire day touring the wine country in North Georgia. THIS is what makes my guy so special. He gets me.

At this point, I have no idea where we are staying. We start heading into Alpine Helen and we end up at the Black Forest Bed & Breakfast.

Helen is this quaint North Georgia mountain town that celebrates German culture. The architecture and ambiance is supposed to be reminiscent of Bavaria.

The B&B we stayed at was cozy and clean! The proprietor was something out of a TV show. He had a strong Dakota accent and had a dry sense of humor. We made it upstairs to our little room, and lo and behold.. lol.. it had a heart shaped tub. heart1

(I did not take a pic of the room – this is from the website.) After we sat our bags down I burst into laughter and fell on the bed. We both were joking around about how we had secretly always wanted to stay in one of these silly mountain rooms with the heart shaped tub… and yes, we get the cheesy aspect of it. (But if you knew our sense of humor – you would totally understand!)

At this point, we realized we had two choices: we could rest in the room (aka sleeping) or we could go soak up the wine with a nice German dinner. We opted for the dinner. We headed to Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & German GI Pub.

And man did we eat!

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Tim is the real trooper here – he went for craft beer. I was sucking down sodas like there was no tomorrow. We were beginning to feel the effects of drinking wine for many hours and I was super dehydrated. (Not to mention, it was in the upper 90s with high humidity.)

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Our appetizer was a soft baked pretzel with beer cheese dip.

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Then we went for the big daddy meal. We went for the Schlachthaus Platte Fur Zwei. (Butcher Plate for two.) Lots of German meats, kraut, cabbage and German potato salad.

Alright… at this point… I’m stuffed, I’m hot, I’m sleepy, and I’m dehydrated. But he was in SUCH a good mood. I couldn’t possibly suggest we go back and sleep, so we decided to walk through town. We stopped in various shops and what not.. and finally, I just looked at him and pleaded with him for us to get something to drink. We stopped at this little shop and I slurped down two big gulps of diet coke. The sun was beginning to set and he asked me about any waterfalls nearby. The only one I remember was Anna Ruby Fall and man-oh-man, I remember the hike up hill to get to it. I told him that yes, there were falls, but I was in no mood or shape to get to them. He seemed a little disappointed. But we kept walking…

Finally, I asked could we just go back to the room. I wanted to take a bath and just go to bed. He started to look a little disappointed and said..”Umm.. what about that Western Photo Booth?” I looked at him like he was crazy. “Sure, Tim. If you want to.” So we went in to look. He asked would I be willing to do it, and I laughed and said, “Well, after 5 hours of wine, a stuffed belly, and a heart shaped tub – Why not?” We had a good laugh and proceeded to change into our costumes.

Now…

I’m not a slender girl, and yes, God blessed me with many.. um.. curves (aka known as Big Boobs,) and I walked out in a bustier, with a feather boa and fish net stockings. He comes out looking.. very hot.

Seriously. The cowboy thing works for him. (He’s VERY tall with broad shoulders.. just go with it.) We are laughing and getting out pics taken. The feathers from the boa are sticking to my sweaty skin, my makeup has melted off, and I am not feeling very photogenic. But we go with it. Finally, the girl finishes and Tim says, I want to take one more pic. He grabs a stool..

And it hit me.

Holy moly.

He reaches in his shirt and pulls out a ring. I stood there in shock. He starts to put it on my right finger and I whisper, “other hand.” We laugh and he asks, “Would you marry me?”

I say.. “Well yes. Of course I will.” We kiss and the photographer is snapping away. I looked at her and him and then said, “What took you so long?” And everyone just erupted in laughter.

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I headed back to the changing room and sort of got my bearings. Did that just happened? In a Western Vintage Photo booth? With my makeup melted and the feather boa stuck to my face? lol Yes, yes it did. But it was perfect. Silly. Just like us.

And the ring…

Have mercy!

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He gave me exactly what I have wanted. My favorite stone is the aquamarine. He thought it was odd that I wanted a blue stone for an engagement ring, but he knew I had pinned dozens of aquamarine engagement rings on Pinterest. He went through and had my ring specially designed just for me. He bought the highest caliber of aquamarine (over 2 carats) and added 18 diamonds to go around it (he ordered the highest clarity) and set it in an antique scroll design in 18K white gold. He did very well!!!

Needless to say, it was a memorable trip. I highly recommend VIP Southern Tours for your North Georgia Wine Country experience. Helen is magical in its own right, and my guy.. well.. that man and that experience is all mine. 😉