Weekend Trip to North Carolina

Happy Monday!

This weekend was so wonderful… I kind of wished it would never end! Fair warning: LOTS OF PHOTOS in this post. But, if you like beautiful scenery and happy occasions, you will enjoy them!

As mentioned on Friday, I was in the Charlotte area for a wedding. It was so great to be there for Bob and Amber’s big day, but also to see so many friends from home that I haven’t seen in years. It was a busy, but amazing weekend!

I arrived on Thursday night and we went to Bob and Amber’s for dinner and had the chance to meet her family and visit with everyone. It was an absolute blast! After that, we just went to the hotel – I was exhausted!

IMG_2290Makeshift office at Ramsey Creek Park.

On Friday morning, I tried to get up semi-early and get going. I went and grabbed some coffee, stopped a little boutique, Sweet Magnolia, and, after asking at Starbucks and in the hotel, settled on visiting Ramsey Creek Park to set up my computer and knock some work out, all while enjoying the beautiful lakefront (more pictures here). It was perfect — right off of the parking lot, I walked down a short path and went out to a little landing-type area that housed a picnic table. It was a little chilly, but I wrapped myself up in a blanked and got some of my work done. It was perfect! I visited with a few friends after at a condo that they had just bought down the road from the park, which was wonderful! I don’t think I had seen them in almost five years, so it was great to catch up and see their beautful new condo as they enjoy retirement.

IMG_2300The entrance to the path at Ramsey Creek Park was so beautiful it didn’t look real.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at the The Peninsula Club. It was so beautiful! It was such a great way to start the weekend. The view from the clubhouse was gorgeous and the company and conversation even better. Following the dinner, everyone went to the Fox & Hound in Birkdale Village. It was a blast talking and catching up with everyone!

IMG_2550The bride gave the sweetest speech about Bob’s traditional Southern rehearsal dinner gift – a cake with loving, personal touches.

Saturday was wedding day! I had hoped to hike in the morning, but my mom and I didn’t get moving fast enough. We ended up grabbing coffee and headed back to Birkdale Village to visit Yappy Hour Bakery’s setup. I always bring a gift back for the pups and try and find a local dog store or bakery to check out when I travel. The owner, Heather, was so nice and helpful–and the dogs have LOVED the treats so far. I think they’re liking the Honey Vanilla ones best, so we may have to buy some more online. After the shopping was done, I dragged my mom to another park. We went and checked out Blythe Landing. It was beautiful and it looked like they had tons of sailing and paddleboard lessons to offer. We didn’t stay too long so we could sneak in a pre-wedding rest, but I still had time to snap a few pictures. I couldn’t get sick of the beautiful fall foliage.

IMG_2315Fall colors at Blythe Landing.

IMG_2316Another beautiful day with the sun peeking through the trees at Blythe Landing.

As if the scenery around the hotel wasn’t beautiful enough, we then headed to the wedding. Amber and Bob, nice work. It was gorgeous. Every detail was wonderful and you could feel how much love all the guests had for the bride and groom. The ceremony and reception were held at Vesuvius Vineyards. It was so beautiful! Thank you to those on our shared album — I borrowed a few photos.






IMG_2344Former co-workers, Brian and Courtney, were also at the wedding. So nice to see so many friends!

Amber did an amazing job on all the details – everything was beautiful!


IMG_2395High school friends from North Canton.

IMG_2414Bob’s mom tasked me with capturing the bride and groom’s sparkler departure…I was so nervous! Thankfully, I got one good shot…they look so happy!

On Sunday, I woke up really early – both because I was anxious for the Saints game, but also because I REALLY wanted to get a hike in. I had done some research before the trip and Lake Norman State Park was my target hiking area. The park was about a 25-minute drive from the hotel and I arrived around 7:40. I hiked until about 3.5 miles on the Lake Shore Trail. It was pretty cold – about 31 degrees – but once I got going, I definitely warmed up. The trail was a little more up and down than I thought and was a good workout. I took A LOT of pictures – it was just so gorgeous!





Sorry for the picture overload… kind of! Ha ha! When I got back to the hotel, we had brunch with the guests staying over and the bride and groom. After saying goodbyes, showering and packing up, my mom and I headed to Charlotte to meet up with a group to watch the Saints’ and Panthers’ games at Duckworth’s. When I lived in Charlotte for a summer, Duckworth’s was a Fox & Hound. It was fun to be back in the city – it’s still as great as I remember.

IMG_2526.jpgSaying good by to Bob, Amber and Greg after a wonderful weekend.

IMG_2476Courtney and I were definitely in the minority as Saints fans.

After watching the Saints game, Courtney, mom and I headed to the Hornets vs. Trail Blazers game. It was a little odd cheering on the Hornets. When I first moved to New Orleans, we were the Hornets and now are the Pelicans. As an intern in 2005 in Charlotte, the team was named the Bobcats and the arena where the now-Hornets play was being built. Lots of connections! The arena looks great post-rebrand and it was fun to be there to support Brian.


I flew out VERY early on Monday morning and enjoyed the above view as we took off. The fog over the water was amazing – it was just a gorgeous way to say good by to North Carolina.

Sorry for the long post — if you’re ever in the area, you’ll love it. It’s a great, small city to visit and just 25 minutes outside, you can find great hiking and beautiful views at Lake Norman.

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!



Tutorial: Abstract Fall Nails

A few years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to paint my nails once a week. I know, I know…pretty silly, but I thought it would look professional and, this might be dumb, give me an outlet for some minimal creativity.

Once I felt like I had mastered the at-home mani, I started searching for different nail tutorials to mix it up from painting my nails a solid color. I first found this tutorial on LoveMaegan.com and first tried it with the same color palette. As the temperature drops in New Orleans (slowly…SO slowly), I find myself wanting to embrace fall and was looking for a fun way to do it with nail polish (since I was jus starting to feel crappy and was resting a lot). I’m going to apologize — these pictures are less than stellar.

Here’s what you’ll need:

-Base coat

-Three nail polish colors (one medium to light color for the bottom and two to mix on the second layer)

-Top coat


I used (from left) Seche Vite top coat (SO fast drying for my impatient tendencies; this is an amazing product!), Revlon Golden Charm, OPI Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ, Essie Chinchilly and butter Nail Foundation (this is a great base product).

Step 1 – Paint your nails with your base coat.

Step 2 – Paint your nails your base color (Chinchilly; I used two coats).

Step 3 – You’ll do each nail one-by-one starting with this step. Once your nails are pretty dry, use one color and paint a few dots (Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ).


Step 4 – Using the second color (Golden Charm), add a couple of drops on top of the first color.


Step 5 – This is VERY scientific! Ha ha! Shake your finger around conservatively so that the colors mix together.


Step 6 – Do this for all of your fingers.

Step 7 – Use your top coat to seal your abstract art and you’re done!


It’s been a while since I’ve followed this tutorial and I’m mad at myself for waiting too long! My mani lasted a week and I got a ton of compliments on it.

What color combinations would you use?

Have a great day!