5/30/2014

Supper Club

Happy Friday, friends! This week flew by and I feel like it was just Monday yesterday and I was sitting on the back porch lounging with my husband. No complaints for a quick week from me, though! I'll take a Friday any day :) 

My friends and I are going to start a supper club now that everyone has graduated and we're all in the same place again. (Hallelujah!!!!) We are going to meet twice a month, if our schedules allow. One time just the girls and one time with our favorite fellas :)

My table only seats four...and there are six of us to start with...so I need to figure out a plan to squeeze everyone in. BUT where there is a will, there is a way! And I'd rather have a kitchen full of chairs and TV trays and whatever else, than a kitchen that is empty and quiet. Because chairs and TV trays means friends are there and memories are being made and relationships are being cultivated. And that makes my heart sing.

I also have never cooked for six, so that shall prove to be interesting I'm sure. I need to spend some time on Pinterest figuring out some fun dishes to make. Is it obvious that I'm excited to have Supper Club with my favorite people? After reading The Nesting Place and currently in Bread & Wine, my heart has been moved  to swing my front door wide open and welcome people in. To pull up chairs and gather around a table. To fill my home with laughter, good conversation and good people.


If you're in a supper club, I would love to hear any hosting and food ideas that you may have! I can't wait to get this started with my best gals and guys and hope that in 20 years we're still gathering around tables with each other!

Oh and if you have any tips on how to wrangle a crazy pup while hosting supper club, throw those my way too ;) Speaking of crazy dog...I present to you, Murphy The Nun.


Go have a good weekend, folks! 

5/29/2014

Lara Casey Speaks

Well, we got to see Lara Casey last night y'all! It was everything I thought it would be and more! The event was held at a new wedding venue in town, Stone River. The venue is beautiful and overlooks the river and right into downtown Columbia. Such an ideal location for weddings, I think this may be one of the up and coming best spots in town for weddings. Maybe someone I know will get married there in the future ;)

The event was put on by a number of wedding professionals in the area and I thought it all came together very well. The music, food and drinks were great. Not the mention the beautiful flowers, great table set ups and gorgeous (& delicious!) dessert area. A huge thank you to the vendors that made last night possible!



I have to tell you, I was a nervous wreck walking into the event. My mom went with me and praise the Lord for her! I think I was so nervous because I wasn't sure if the room was going to be filled with wedding professionals from the area that all new each other and I was going to be like the new kid at school. Although there were a lot of wedding pros there and I'm sure quite a few people knew each other, it was a very welcoming and warm environment and there were plenty of people there that didn't own businesses and just loved Lara Casey and were excited to have the opportunity to see her.

As I was getting ready this morning and thinking about last night, I realized that I didn't take many pictures and I really wish I would have taken my good camera to capture the essence of the event. Sigh...maybe next time!

As any good attendee should do, I took notes like a mad woman while she spoke. Goodness y'all, she is SO inspiring. She fires you up.

One question that she asked that really struck a cord with me is "You didn't come here to stay the same, did you?" BAM. Right in your face and you immediately had to be honest with yourself about why you were there and what dreams you have that you need to jump start. She also spoke a lot on finding your core and what your mission is. It's so important to know how you are and what you love and what you want to do.

She also asked us where we wanted to be when we're 80. And how do you back fill your life, until you're 80. For me, that's a lot to think about but also gives me joy and hope. It's such a reminder that I'm young and have SO MUCH life ahead of me and if I seize the opportunities that come my way, follow my heart, follow my calling and go where the Lord wants me to...I can back fill my life with some really wonderful things, and I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty darn good to me.

via Lara Casey Shop
I want to really explore what is at my core, what my mission is and what I want to do with my life. I've got a lot of living to do and I don't ever, ever want to waste that time. I love what Lara has said time and time again "You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them." Yes. Just yes.Why not do the things you've always wanted to? What is standing in the way? I know for me, fear cripples me sometimes. But how stupid is fear. Fear stands in front of all of us time and time again and I just want to knock it and step right on it. Lara said, failure gets your farther than fear. And how spot on is she with that? Failure is bound to grace all of us at some point, but it can be such a learning experience and failure doesn't always have to carry a negative connotation. Fear however, will never allow you to fail...or succeed, because you'll never try. And that makes me sad, things passing me by out of my fear of trying or exploring something new makes me really sad. Last night Lara said, get out there. I wrote it at the top of my page, put a hundred exclamation parts behind it and put a bubble around it. I am longing to get out there and live! Find what I'm passionate about it and do what fuels me. Life is meant to be lived and fulfilled. I'm ready to live. I'm ready to be fired up and I'm ready to GET OUT THERE!

How about you, friend? What fires you up, what is at your core, what is your mission? I encourage you to really think and pray on those things. We've all got opportunities to seize and cherish and just like I don't want those to pass me by, I don't want them to pass you by either. People that love what they do and love the way they are living are infectious and it makes my heart giddy to think that people could see me in that way.

Mom and I got to meet Lara last night and she was as sweet, humble and personable as you'd imagine. Of course, we only got to chat with her for a few minutes but when you're speaking with her, she pays attention to your conversations as if you were the only ones in the room. She asks you questions about yourself and encouragement literally oozes from her. She is a special, special gal. That is undeniable.

Lara, thank you for coming to Columbia last night. You inspired me in so many ways. I'm sure you hear this time and time again, but what you have is a gift from the Lord. The ease of the way you speak, the love for your brand, your love for the South and especially your love for relationships. You're such a role model and the way you carry yourself in a confident, humble manner is beautiful. I'm so thankful that you made the trip to sweet South Carolina last night and that I put my nerves in my back pocket and walked through the doors of Stone River.

If you ever have the chance to see her speak, GO. I hope and pray that I get to attend her Making Things Happen conference in the near future!



5/28/2014

Someone AWESOME is coming to Columbia today

YOU GUYS! Today is the day!!! The day for what, you're probably asking yourself. 

THE DAY LARA CASEY IS COMING TO COLUMBIA!!!!!!!!!!! 

Goodness gracious, I am so excited! She is coming to speak at a local venue that happens to be right down from my house! She is going to be speaking on branding and the heart of Southern Weddings. Now, I'm pretty new to the Southern Weddings/Lara Casey bandwagon. I heard a lot about her at the beginning of the year when bloggers were doing her powersheets and probably a little more than a month ago I started following along with her and with Southern Weddings. I am so, so glad that I did. From what I gather from her instagram and blog posts is that she is so passionate about life in general and about OTHERS! It's so refreshing, really. I joined in last week to a live web session she did and just listening to her speak and taking notes on how to "start where you are" and doing things to get them done, but not to be perfect every time was so enlightening. Southern Weddings is now a site I visit daily and to see the love and passion they pour into that site and magazine is awesome! You can't help but see how much she and her staff love what they do, it's infectious. 

I can't wait to hear her speak tonight and you can bet that I'll have notebook in hand ready to write down pratically everything that comes from her mouth. My mom is going with me and I'm excited to share this experience with her! 

If you're a huge fan of Lara, you can find her listing on speaking arrangements on her blog. Maybe she is coming to a city near you soon! 

5/14/2014

Colvin Juice Bar: Open for Business

If you scrolled through instagram this morning, you would have seen that Josh and I had our first (together/at home) juicing experience. With the way Josh has been feeling lately, his mom bought us a juicer so that we could be on the up and up with our health. Thanks Julie and Keith! she gave it to us when we were at her house on Sunday for Mothers Day. 

Here's our juicing schedule (minus this week because we got thrown off yesterday morning because, you guessed it, no water!): 
-Tuesday mornings
-Thursday evenings before dinner
-Saturday mornings 

We are starting out with 3 times a week because it's best to ease into juicing and not shock your body by doing it everyday. I should also note that after we've been juicing awhile we will still probably hover around 3-4 times a week. We have between 6-8 oz for each of us with each juice. It's best to juice on an empty stomach so your body can absorb all of the goodness, hence in the mornings before breakfast and before dinner in the evenings. 

After reading only one article about juicing, I noticed that some people were up in arms about the leftovers of the fruits and veggies and that juicing seemed wasteful. We are using our leftovers as a compost pile and put them around our trees, shrubs and in our flower beds. I read that a lot of people do that and that is what my mother-in-law suggested we do with ours. So, since we're putting it back into the ground and using it to enhance our soil, I don't feel bad about the "extra stuff" that some people seem to be weary of. I also read that a lot of people didn't like how many parts there are to a juicer and that it took a long time to clean. There are about 5 parts to it, but ours is extremely easy to take apart and put back together and clean up this morning was maybe 7 minutes, which I didn't think was bad at all. It's easy to clean and if you do it right after you juice it really doesn't take much time. 

We plan on experimenting with different combinations of fruits and veggies but I can pretty much bet that our go-to is going to consist of : 
-1/2 beet
-2 handfuls of spinach 
-1 apple
- 6 to 7 carrots 
- 1 orange 

Above is the combination we did this morning. It actually tastes very good, except I have to admit that the beet does give it a little bit of a dirt tasting factor. If you feel like you you can't handle that taste, just don't use it and you'll really only taste the orange with a hint of carrot, it's not bad at all! We had kale chips the other night and HATED them. Truly hated them. But we may give them a go in the juicer, because I know kale is wonderful for you. 

There's been a big push in our house lately, by both Josh and I, to eat better and cut out some of the processed foods that we may normally eat. We're not going cold turkey on anything, nor are we getting super crazy. However, I am making much more things from scratch and we are really loading up on our veggies with our meals at night...and now with juicing too! I am excited and anxious to see how juicing makes me feel overall and when/if I'll be able to tell a difference in my energy, how I feel overall, and my skin/hair/nails. I kid you not, since my MIL has been juicing her hair looks fabulous! She has very thin and fine hair but it has gained so much volume and oomph. Also, juicing is thought to keep you looking young...for a long time haha! I don't exactly have that to worry about right now, but why not start early?!

Do any of you juice? Have any recipes that we should try? Would love to hear! 

5/13/2014

You Guessed it...Another Crazy Story

I know y'all are probably a) tired of hearing my bizarre stories or b) wondering how the heck these things actually take place as often as they do. 

So here we go...another story to put down in the book of craziness that is our first year of marriage. We've started working pretty dilignetly on our yard over the past month or two and happened to notice that it looked like we had an in ground sprinkler system (cue the angels!). We both found it curious that no one mentioned that in the listing of the house or on closing day so we decided to email the previous owners to see if they could give us some direction on how to use the system. We heard back from the wife who said "There is a hole in the ground with a green plastic cover on it, in front of the master bedroom window. When you take the cover off there is a knob to turn it on." 

Oh goodie we thought, a hole in the ground that we just recently covered with what seems like two tons of mulch. We go out one afternoon after work to dig for this hole and cover and it ended up getting too dark so we called it quits for that night. The next day we went hunting again and bingo! We found the hole with the cover clearly labeled "Irrigation Control". So we dug around it really well, got the cover off and when we opened it the red knob was another foot into the ground! Josh and I both thought it was kind of weird that you had to do all this digging to get to the knob, especially for something that you would use pretty frequently in the spring and summer months. It just seemed like a lot of work to get to it. And it was so deep in the ground and at an awkward angle that maybe there was some sort of tool you used to turn it on. Well we tried to turn it ourselves and the thing would just not move. We had my dad look at it and he couldn't move it either and he thought it might be the main line for the irrigation system and that there was possibly another knob somewhere else that turned the sprinklers on. 

So we email the previous owners again to ask if they had used to system recently and if there was a tool to turn the knob. They said they used the system last summer with no issues and that there was no tool to turn it. She also mentioned that she thought the knob was blue and not red. I thought "hmmm...that's interesting. Maybe her husband used it more often and she is mistaken about the color". We go back out and dig the hole up again and try to turn it some more...nothing, nada, zilch...until...Josh pops the red knob off. Although the knob popped off, we still didn't think anything had turned. We thought the knob was probably old and just needed to be replaced. We call it quits again and when we go back inside, Josh goes to wash his hands and...you guessed it...NO WATER. What was labeled as "Irrigation Control" was actually THE EMERGENCY SHUT OFF FOR THE HOUSE. So here we are, no water and a broken knob. Josh goes back out with his plyers and wrenches and everything else under the sun and this pipe is just not moving. My dad is on his way to see if he can help and finally, we hear a swoosh and the knob turns a bit. I run inside and praise the Lord, we have water! Except the pressure isn't all the way there...meaning we need to keep turning the knob. So that we do and our pressure comes back...but guess what also happens? WATER STARTS SQUIRTING FROM THE PIPE...because...drum roll please...it is busted. Wahoo for busted pipes!!!....not so much. So, we run in the house, fill up a bunch of cups and bowls with water, shower really quickly and then have to turn the water back off so that our yard isn't flooding in the morning. 

Apparently, there must be TWO holes in the ground with green plastic covers...nice to know that now. And if I had to guess, it's very possible that the covers got switched and the one with the sprinkler control could very well have an "Emergency Control" label on the top. BUT, we still have no idea where the sprinkler control...because I assure you, it is not under the master bedroom window...AND if it is...we truly have no idea where. But I can tell you where the emergency shut off is...sigh! 

Dad is coming over today to help us fix it...apparently it's a pretty easy thing to fix one you get it dug up and all that jazz. I am PRAYING that it truly is an easy fix and that nothing else breaks, pops off, or spews while they are trying to fix it. 

I mean really, "it's under the master bedroom window, with a green plastic cover..." We truly followed instructions to a tee...and ended up breaking our whole water system. How does that happen?! We at the Colvin casa have been on one crazy ride this first year of marriage...and we have 4 more months to go! Bless our souls. I told Josh that I hoped our second year is a bit more...shall we say, peaceful? Uneventful? 

I mean COME ON! 

So there you go, another story to add to our book of madness. And I hope you had running water this morning :) 

5/07/2014

Restart or Fast Forward

I can't decide if I'd like a restart button for 2014 or a fast forward button to get this year behind me. It hasn't been a horrible year but certainly a challenging one. Yesterday, my uncle passed away and that makes the fourth death I've had in or around my family this year. And we're barely into May. I should note that before this year I have not have to deal with death or attending funerals, which I am immensely thankful for and I must admit that I have been dreading when the time came that I knew it was inevitable that I would have to answer phone calls letting me know someone had passed away or sitting in a church pew attending funeral services. 

One person passed away due to cancer, one from old age and long time sickness and two were very freak accidents. It's those that shake me, those are the ones that you are so completely unprepared for. 

All of this to say that little things that have gone wrong this year, like having our lawn mower stolen, seem so small in the big scheme of the deaths that have surrounded us this first part of the year. A co-worker reminded me today that it's when you're living right and right with God that the devil strikes harder and faster than ever, over and over and over again. Another sweet friend reminded me that God is using this time to prepare me for something spectacular waiting around the corner. 

My heart is aching today, that my aunt had to wake up this morning without my uncle. My mom was at her house last night and all my aunt could talk about was their daily routines, having their coffee in the mornings, etc. And my heart truly broke when my mom was telling me on the phone. My mind immediately went to my daily routines with Josh and how I would be so lost if I didn't wake up next to him each morning and go about our day together. Goodness my heart hurts so bad thinking about that. 

Would you say a prayer for my family today? My papa lost his only sibling and last living relative (besides us!) yesterday and he is very, very sad...as you can imagine. Life is hard y'all, it really is. But as much as life is hard, God is so good and triumphs over those hard days every single time. Pain is shadowing my family this day and probably will for awhile...but peace, healing of hearts and comfort is to come. That I know. Our God won't leave us hanging, it was time for Uncle Bob to go home and he is sitting next to Jesus looking down as I type this. He's in a much better place than we are, that is for sure. Glory to you God, that we have a place in heaven waiting for us when you call us home. This world is not the end. 

He joined Sarah yesterday, Uncle Charles, and Ms. Baine. I hope they are all celebrating together. 

In the midst of sadness, I wish you a happy Wednesday friend! 

5/02/2014

Rejuvenating in May

I have no idea how in the world it's already May but heavens I am glad to see a new month! The start of 2014 hasn't particularly been horrible but not particularly great either. Our lawnmower was stolen which resulted in our yard looking a hot mess for quite some time, Josh had a bit of a set back at work, then for the past 3 weeks he's been pretty sick...which resulted in us spending the day in the ER and doctors office this past Wednesday, not only did we not get many answers about Josh's pain but we also got overcharged $400...yes FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. Getting overcharged resulted in 3 1/2 hours of tracking down our money at the hospital...back and forth from the ER to the billing departments for a solid three and a half hours. All of that to say that the next day our refund had disappeared from our account which resulted in my mom and I spending another 3 hours yesterday finding our money AGAIN. After too many phone calls and two trips to the bank...our money is back...for now...6 1/2 hours of tracking down our money. Yikes. Needless to say, Josh and I are exhausted and I just might cry when the clock strikes five this afternoon, that's how happy I will be. April was a good but tough month, so I am praying that May brings good health and lots of rejuvenation. Send a prayer our way, would you? 

To start off May we purchased a new lawnmower yesterday and we are tackling our yard TO-DAY. It is embarrassing what our grass looks like. I kid you not, Wednesday after we got home from our hectic day, I was out "cutting the grass with my hands". Every tall weed or piece of grass I was just ripping out of the ground because I couldn't take it any longer, haha! We put off buying a lawnmower because we are getting a privacy fence put across the back of the yard (to hopefully prevent any more mean people from coming into our yard and stealing our things) and it has been like heck trying to get our phone calls returned regarding our fence. HOPEFULLY (please Lord!) we will have a fence up the next week or two, and until then the lawnmower has to reside in our guest room...oh happy day...LOL! 

My MOH and one of my best friends is getting married TOMORROW. So, that's a great way to start May...with lots of love! I can't WAIT to see how beautiful she is going to be. Griffyn, I hope the MRS. club treats you as well as it has treated me these past 7 months! 


May, I hope that I can slow down and enjoy you a bit. I'm so looking forward to warm evenings spent on the patio, putt-putt and tennis with friends, celebrations, and quality time with my husband. Last night I was reminded of God's goodness and faithfulness to us as I was pushing through the exhaustion that has set in, the sky was a mix of oranges and pinks that cast the most beautiful glow around 8 o'clock. I  walked out onto our patio and took in the beauty that He has placed around us everyday. It really is breathtaking and I hope May gives me the opportunity to enjoy every bit of the beauty that our world has to offer. 

I hope your May is off to a great start as well, and if your April or beginning of 2014 has been a bit crazy like ours, I'm praying for you friend. I pray that May also brings you rejuvenation. We all need a little bit of a restart every now and again and I think this new month that is upon us is a great time for that. 

P.S. I'm going to write a book about all the bizarre things that have happened to us in our first not-even year of marriage. It's CRAZY! Murphy ate a Pandora charm out from the under the Christmas tree, we spent Christmas night at the emergency vet with him after he ate a whole pan of fudge, our lawnmower was stolen, and the ER took $400 of our money that ended up in a 6 1/2 hunt to get it back. WHAT?! Is this real life?! I think we've had our fair share of crazy to last us a while...don't you agree? 

5/01/2014

Mast Farm Inn

One of my best friends in the whole entire world (Rebecca) lives in Valle Crucis, North Carolina and works at a bed and breakfast called the Mast Farm Inn. She so sweetly gave Josh and I a two night stay at the Inn for our wedding gift and this past weekend we finally redeemed it.

 





Let me tell you, I did not want to come back! If someone could have packed Murphy up and sent him on to Valle Crucis, we'd probably still be there, haha! It was GORGEOUS and the Inn...I have no words. I just kept running around all weekend calling it "sweet" because that's exactly what it was. The sweetest little place ever. We stayed in the Loom House cabin and all of the vintage touches inside of that place were astounding. We walked in Friday night and an old radio was softly playing Willie Nelson, there was a card sitting on the table with our names on it welcoming us to the cabin and all of the lights were twinkling inside the cabin. The most fabulous bathtub I have ever seen was perched in front of two beautiful windows and the canopy over the bed was breathtaking. They literally thought of everything when decorating this cabin and it showed how much love and time they had put into it to make every person's experience as enjoyable as it can be. There were little sweets waiting for us, each day we had a new card with our name on it and a "thought for the day". The breakfast menus had our name on them each morning and our names were incorporated throughout the entire menu and it was SO unique. Little touches like this made this stay go above and beyond our expectations and I would visit the Mast Farm Inn a million times over! Our cabin had a front porch and we spent Sunday morning listening to the birds sing and sipping on coffee. Saturday night we enjoyed cocktails on the porch before dinner...I could make a permanent spot on that front porch if they'd let me. Nothing better.






Y'all, the food was fantastic. We had dinner at the Inn on Saturday night and oh my goodness.  They did an appetizer of truffled popcorn with parmesan cheese and almonds...my mouth is drooling just thinking about it. Another favorite of mine was their brussel sprouts and bacon...delicious is an under statement, trust me. Breakfast each morning was out of this world too. I can't even being to describe it. Quiches, biscuits, French toast bread pudding, sausage, bacon...you see? Delicious.




Valle Crucis is a beautiful place and the beauty of the mountains mesmerized me the whole trip. It is home to the original Mast General Store and Josh was pretty excited that we got to go shopping in it. We have one on Main Street in Columbia, but obviously not as cool as the original one :) Valle Crucis is also close to Boone, which has a great downtown area that we spent a little time at on Saturday. Boone is home to Appalachian State and their campus is so pretty! We drove the Blueridge Parkway and I kept squealing to Josh "look over here, oh my goodness, isn't that beautiful, look look look!" Of course, he couldn't do much looking because he was driving, but we pulled over at quite a few overlooks and we also went hiking. Our hike was beautiful and I could have sat at the top of the mountain forever. There is just something about slowly down and enjoying yourself. I don't do it near as often as I should. There is a park right down from the end that runs along that Wautaga River and hands down it was one of the most beautiful parks I've ever been to. It was so wide open and PEACEFUL. Oh so peaceful. 





We hope to be able to make this a annual weekend trip each year, we'd love to come back sometime in the fall. This was the best weekend we've had in a while and I truly can't say anything good things about the Mast Farm Inn, I could rave for days! Rebecca, this was the BEST wedding gift we received and I am so thankful for how much you accommodated us on this trip and even MORE thankful for the time that we got to spend with you. We love you so much and treasure our friendship with you more than you will ever know.