Thursday, January 27, 2011

Amrita Singh and My 5 Must-Haves

Another snow day today :) Not a complete day-off-work snow day, but a two-hour delay is still nice! And we were let off 2 hours early yesterday because of the snow so I'm not complaining. I will complain a bit, though, about the traffic last night trying to get home. Terrible! My 20-minute commute with my husband (we carpool) turned into an hour and a half commute. I'm so thankful that our commute wasn't longer (I've heard horror stories about 8-hour commutes last night!) and that we arrived home safe and sound with an intact car :) It was awfully pretty this morning driving to work; if it has to be winter, I like to see snow covering the trees and ground (just not the streets!).

HauteLook is featuring Amrita Singh jewelry today, and I was so excited because I have been drooling over her creations for awhile now. Guess who got an early Valentine's Day present? :) Look at my pretties:

Jitney Earrings in Coral
 Bridgehampton Bracelet in Coral
 Charlotte Necklace

Can't wait until they arrive at my doorstep!!!

Following in the footsteps of Muffy Martini and Kappa Prep, I thought that I would list my 5 MUST haves - the items that I can't leave home without. After some consideration, here they are:

1. Lipstick/Lip Gloss: I have a fair complexion and need some color or I look totally washed out. Even if I'm cleaning at home and don't have a speck of make-up on my face, I have lipstick on :) Black Honey Almost Lipstick by Clinique is one of my favorites; you can't go wrong with this color - it looks good on everyone!

2. Tissues: I have allergies. Ugh!

3. Purse: I keep both of the above in a purse. Usually in a colorful purse :) Love Kate Spade!

4. Book: I know it's stereotypical for a librarian to admit this, but - yeah - I almost always carry a book with me. You never know when you'll be stuck in traffic or on the Metro or waiting for a friend, husband, family member, etc and need something to do. Golden opportunities to sneak in a bit of reading abound :)

5. Water Bottle: Preferably monogrammed :) I chug a lot of water during the day so I always keep a water bottle with me.

(images from HauteLook, Sephora, Amazon, Kate Spade, and Monogram Chick)

My weekend starts after work tonight since tomorrow is my day off. P and I are going to visit his parents in PA this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekend Recap

I had planned to do my first Menu Monday post yesterday, but I had a horrible migraine most of the day and just wasn't feeling up to writing anything. So I'll put that off until next Monday :)

Peter and I had a fairly relaxing weekend. Fri. night we babysat for our friends' three kids - ranging in age from 4 to 7 months. The baby girl slept the entire time we were there, but we made cookies with the two boys and our friend K who stopped by to hang out with us. The boys' grandmother had just bought them two new cookie sheets that made cookies in the shapes of planes, race cars, and various other boy-related objects, and they loved using them :) We ate way too many cookies that night (!), but in spite of the sugar rush, the boys went to bed really easily. We stayed to talk with our friends when they returned and didn't end up getting home until past midnight. Sat. I went shopping in Bethesda, MD. I knew that several of the stores in Bethesda Row were having sales (including the Lilly store there - The Pink Palm!), but I really wasn't impressed with any of the offerings - very ho-hum (I ended up just buying a book at B&N and some moisturizer at Blue Mercury). I was, however, very impressed with the offerings at Georgetown Cupcake :) I had never been to GC before, and I decided even though the line was out the door and I would have to stand in the cold (it was in the 20s that day) for at least 15 min., I needed to try it out. And I am sooo glad that I did - my world has been changed for the better!!! I bought a salted caramel cupcake and a red velvet cupcake for Peter and I to share that night, and we both agreed that they were the best cupcakes hands down that we had ever had. Seriously yum! I'm looking for another excuse to go to Bethesda Row and try some more flavors :)

 (images from Georgetown Cupcake)

Sat. night we watched He's Just Not That Into You which we had heard mixed reviews about from friends, but P and I really liked it.

 (image from IMBD)

I think it was pretty honest about some of the stuff that goes on in the dating scene. We couldn't stop laughing at the scene where the two ladies are discussing different lines that men have used to dump them. My personal favorite line from that scene: "'I am so jealous of the guy who gets to marry you.' - Well, that could have been you. That's what I was leaning towards." Ha! Sun. we had lunch with friends after church, and then I ran a few errands and came home and we watched football and called our families.

Tonight I have a Junior League meeting after work in Alexandria, VA. It's the kick-off meeting for my mini-placement this spring as a provisional member, and I'm super excited about it :) I just hope that I can get to the meeting on time; I'm metro-ing and that's always unpredictable! This weekend we'll visit Peter's parents in PA and finally have our "Christmas" with them. We spent the actual Christmas holiday with my family in Memphis so we have yet to exchange presents with P's family. I kind of like extending the celebration :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Giveaway at 2 Preppy Girls

Thanks to Sweet Southern Prep for sharing this! 2 Preppy Girls is giving away a PSA Essentials personalized stamp, 1 Peel & Stick pack, 1 ink,  and 1 alignment tool. YAY!!!

Go to 2 Preppy Girls for directions on how to enter. The deadline to enter is midnight tonight :)

China Patterns

Registering for our china pattern with Peter was one of the highlights of our engagement for me (probably not for him - although he did have some definite opinions on our china options - I was surprised and impressed!). We registered for everyday china, formal china, and crystal stemware. We inherited a set of silverplate flatware from Peter's grandmother (Lovely Lady - 1937 - by Holmes and Edwards) which is special to us, and we decided since we have that silver and very limited storage in our small 1-bedroom apartment, we would hold off on registering for sterling silver flatware. You can bet that I already have my pattern picked out, though :)

Strasbourg by Gorham

Christmas, my birthday, Valentine's Day, etc. will be excellent opportunities to be gifted with pieces of this lovely pattern!

Our crystal pattern is:

Stephanie Platinum by Mikasa

Our formal china pattern is:
 Parchment by Mikasa

Our everyday china is from Target, and the pattern has been discontinued since our wedding. We decided against registering for nicer everyday china since we knew we were going to move at least twice before we bought a house and china breaks easily. Now I'm kind of regretting that decision since the china is not good quality at all and started chipping badly about two weeks after we started using it. I like the colorful pattern (it has roosters on it!), but now I would also like a solid white china pattern that is better quality.

I've checked Williams Sonoma, Macy's, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Neiman Marcus, Sur la Table, and Gift & Art in Memphis and here are the possible upgrades:

Berry & Thread by Juliska (my favorite but a bit pricey for us right now, I'm afraid)

 Estate by Neiman Marcus (looks similar to Juliska china but at a fraction of the price)

Wickford by Kate Spade (love the rope detailing on the edges!)

Emma by Pottery Barn (a bit on the simple side but you can monogrammed mugs to go with it)

Hmmm ... decisions, decisions! While I was searching for white china, I came across the cutest yellow china from Neiman Marcus. Since my name "Melissa" means "honeybee," I'm partial to anything with bees on it.

Isn't the teapot darling? Love it :) I'm not sure how I feel about having this as our everyday china, but I would at least like to have the teapot and mugs for tea in the afternoon.

(images from Beverly Bremer Silver Shop, Neiman Marcus, Macy's and Pottery Barn)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekend Recap

Woohoo! I love 4-day weekends!!! This past Fri. was my normal day off, and then I was off for MLK Day yesterday. And to top it all off, we had a mini ice storm in DC last night so there was a two-hour delay at my agency this morning. Other than a full day off for snow, is there anything better than waking up on a weekday and being able to set  your alarm forward for 2 more hours of sleep? :)

Friday I ran a lot of errands (Target, library, etc.), and I finally caved and bought a pair of black Tory Burch Revas at Nordstrom.

These are a bit pricey for me, but I needed a good, quality pair of black flats and these are really comfy!

Saturday I had a Junior League meeting in the morning and then came home and just tidied up and prepared for teaching Children's Church the next day. Peter's aunt had given us a restaurant gift card for Christmas so that night we went to Bonefish Grill to use it. Thanks, Aunt Sue! It was great, but unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera with me so no pictures (I'm going to get the hang of bringing my camera with me if it kills me!). This was our first experience with a menu that printed the calorie totals for each dish, and let me tell you, it was a little shocking. We were going to order a shrimp appetizer that looked super yummy, but then we saw that it had over 1,000 calories. For an appetizer!!! Oh my goodness no :(

Sunday was pretty relaxed; we went to church and then came home and watched football and called our families. I watched a bit of the Golden Globe red carpet before Masterpiece Theater came on (my all time favorite show - can't miss it!). I don't really enjoy watching awards shows since I think they're pretty boring, but I love looking at all of the dresses.

My favorites:

Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta

Pink, ruffles, train - Yes!

Amy Adams in Marchesa

This blue looked so great with her fair complexion.

Olivia Wilde in Marchesa

This is a fantasy dress with the sequins and the full skirt, and it looks fantastic with her skin and hair.

Eva Longoria in Zac Posen

So classy and elegant!

My Not-so-Favorites:

Scarlett Johansson in Elie Saab

This color never looks good on women with pale skin; it makes them look so washed out and sickly. Her hairstyle was also a bad choice :(

Angelina Jolie in Versace

Love the green, but the dress looks like something off of the Lawrence Welk show. I'm not a fan of the long sleeves!

Anne Hathaway in Georgio Armani Prive

Wrong color for her, too many sequins, and long sleeves :(

Michelle Williams in Valentino

Really? Daisies for an awards show?

Yesterday I did some badly-needed organizing in my desk and closet and then went hiking with a good friend from church. Peter and I were excited for a new episode of House last night and it didn't disappoint! I never watched that show before I got married, but it's one of Peter's favorites and now I really like it.

All in all a fun and productive weekend! And only a four-day week at work this week :) Woohoo!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books for 2011

In keeping with my last post of New Year's resolutions and since I love me some books, I'm going to set a reading course for myself for the year. I have a wish list of books on Amazon that's a mile long so maybe this plan will help me whittle that down a bit :)

(A print of this painting was in my elementary school library growing up, and I've always loved it!)


I'm a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith and especially of this Scotland Street series. I've already started this, and I'm really enjoying it!


This is the book for February for the book club Book Beginnings and Bookends, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.


I've heard super great things about this book, and I can't wait to start it.


This involves the Holocaust so I'm sure it's going to be hard to read in parts, but it's an intriguing story.


A lighter read after a book about the Holocaust :)


This also seems like kind of a hard read but compelling.


I predict that I'm going to become addicted to this series :)


Anything to do with Tiffany's is A-OK with me!


Perfect for kicking off the 2011-2012 Junior League year :)


I really enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada so I'm very much looking forward to this!


A fun read!


I've been wanting to read this for about two years now!

I'll probably need some extras since I tend to read quickly!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Reg Keeland
 Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Water for Elelphants by Sara Gruen
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (I really need to finish this trilogy!)
True Prep by Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd
The Last Mrs. Astor: A New York Story by Frances Kiernan

Happy reading!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year Resolutions

My blog wasn't up and running yet on the traditional day to post new year resolutions, but I'm still going to post mine - 10 days late.  I think 1-11-11 is kind of a neat day to post anyway :) I will include a picture of my husband and me taken on New Year's Day, though!

Here's my list for 2011:

1. Learn to knit - This has been something I've wanted to learn for awhile now. I know how to crochet which is fun, but I really love the tighter stitching of knitting. There are many more fun patterns for knitting too. I have a few friends who knit but I'm a little hesitant to ask them to teach me since I typically need a lot of hand-holding when I first learn a craft; it would be a big time-commitment for them! I think I'll look into classes at local shops or community centers.

2. Exercise more with my husband - I really need to buy a new bike (mine was stolen last year - Ugh!) so Peter and I can ride together again. That was one of our favorite activities when we were dating/engaged :) And I'd like to play tennis with him more regularly when the weather gets warmer. He's really good at tennis, and I'm really not so good so I need to practice, practice, practice!

3. Be more disciplined in spending time with the Lord everyday and praying regularly with Peter - I really like have a personal quiet time in the mornings before work, but doing that means getting up at 5:30 in the morning which is not easy for me at all. I've never been a good waker-upper; I hit the "Snooze" button on my alarm about five times before I can manage to drag myself out of bed. I'm going to make a new effort in the new year, though, and I'm going to try to keep up prayer time with my husband on Sunday nights.

4. Take more pictures - I hardly ever remember to take my camera with me when I go out, and if I do, I hardly ever remember to use it. I also don't document my life at home well at all. I really wish that I had started this blog while Peter and I were engaged and then continued it because I have very few pictures of our first three years together. Here's to hoping that this blog will encourage me to take more pictures of our second year of marriage!

5. Eat more fruits and veggies - My never-ending quest! I always eat a piece of fruit with lunch and a veggie with supper, but many days that's it for my fruits and veggies. I'm stepping my daily intake up to at least 4 servings in 2011.

6. Organize closet and dresser and keep them that way - Container Store here I come! I desperately need something to organize my purses, another shoe rack (I'm getting rid of all of the shoe boxes in my closet!), and drawer dividers to keep everything separate and in order.

7. Keep track of purchases - At the beginning of the month, I'm really good about keeping track of spending on our credit card, but towards the end of the month, I fall off the wagon. I keep all of the receipts, but without adding everything up, I don't know exactly what we've spent and if we're over or under budget. Not cool and not anymore!

8. Travel more - Peter and I have been talking about visiting his brother in Boston for a long weekend and also going on a trip to Europe (Scotland? Germany? Greece?) or to Australia in 2011. I'm so looking forward to some bigger trips like that, but I also want to do more day trips or weekend trips to towns in our area. There are so many cute, fun towns around DC that we've never explored! And who knows when babies might come along so we need to get some traveling done pronto :)

9. Continue planning dinners/outings with friends - We made a conscious effort in 2010 to set aside days in our schedule to have friends over for dinner or invite them to go to movies, hiking, etc. Early in our marriage, we learned that if we weren't intentional about scheduling time with friends, we ended up spending most of our free time with just each other. I love my husband to pieces and love spending time with him, but I've never wanted to be one of those insular couples who have no social life outside of each other.

10. Worry less - This will be something I work on for the rest of my life since I'm a born worrywart :) I just pray that in 2011 I'll learn to trust God more and become more like the Proverbs 31 woman who "laughs at the days to come."

I'm so glad that I have this list to look back at and to help keep me accountable during the coming year. I love the hope and the "newness" that comes with the new year. Here's to a great 2011 :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

First Time Blogger ...

I've never been into blogging until I stumbled upon Adventures of a Southern Newlywed while doing a Google search about monogrammed stationery (random, huh? gotta love Google!). That was several months ago, and since then, I've been regularly reading lots of blogs - as you can see from my blog list :) I was in danger of becoming a creepy, anonymous blog stalker (ha!) so I thought it might be high time to start my own blog. I've really grown to like the blogging community! I'm excited to participate in blogging book clubs like Book Beginnings and Book Ends and link up for show your home tours, etc. And I'm very much hoping that this blog will be a great way for me to document my life with my sweet husband and, further down the road, our children. I've always been awful at remembering to take pictures of things, and I've always been undisciplined at keeping a traditional journal; maybe blogging will reform me in those areas :)

For anyone other than my family who will ever read this blog, I'll start off telling a little bit about myself. I live and work in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. I moved here in August 2003 and love it, but sometimes I really miss my hometown of  Memphis, TN. I graduated from Wheaton College in IL with a B.A. in History and then attended the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) for graduate school. After earning a Masters in Library Science and a Masters in History, I moved to the Washington, DC, area for a job. I am now working as a librarian which is definitely the profession for me - I love books and reading! My husband also attended Wheaton College, but we didn't meet until we both started going to the same church in MD (funny, huh?). We were married in April 2009, and marriage has been fantastic! He's my best friend, and I can't imagine life without him! This is the VERY short version of my life but a good start :)