Thursday, June 30, 2011

Soundtracks: Hellooo, Summer!

Hellooo, Summer! I can't believe summer is here and I'm actually enjoying it in Minnesota for the first time in 4+ years. Summers here are SO different from summer in South Carolina. I know everyone thinks it's freezing her every day of the year, but it actually does get pretty hot and humid. Definitely a little more bearable than SC humidity, that's for sure!

Aside from The OC Collection and hundreds of other artists and bands, my favorite summer tunes have to include these next three soundtracks. Each album is very different, but oh-so summer perfect. 

We finally saw (500) Days of Summer last summer/fall with Dan & Stacie. Oh man, I fell in love. I loved the whole attitude of an unconventional "romantic comedy" feel, plus the adorableness (is that a word?) of Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt's relationship in the movie.. The music totally made the movie with a little old-school flare with some newer indie artists. I think there was maybe 1 or 2 songs on the album I didn't exactly 'love', but it still fit the movie perfectly. It was great to see Regina Spektor on the album a couple times, as well as being introduced to Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition" (Augh! SO good!). I was also pleasantly surprised to recognize Carla Bruni - whom I stumbled upon while planning my sister's French/Marie Antoinette-inspired bridal shower last August. 

(500) Days of Summer
Featuring: Regina Spektor, The Smiths, Black Lips, Doves, Hall & Oates, The Temper Trap, Carla Bruni, Feist, Simon & Garfunkel, Wolfmother, Mumm-Ra, Meaghan Smith, She & Him, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel and Kevin Michael

Yes, I know Orange County is SO 2002, but the soundtrack will always be one of my faves. A good mix of classic rock-your-face-off tunes with a total summer twist. Love it.

Orange County
Featuring: The Offspring, Social Distortion, Foo Fighters, Cake, Crazytown, Bad Ronald, Brian Wilson, Lit, 12 Rods, Quarashi, Pete Yorn, Creeper Lagoon and Phantom Planet

Another fantastic summer soundtrack is the album from The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Not only is the movie a total chick-flick/daughter-mom classic, but the music chosen for the film is amazing. The album actually always reminds me of my mom.. She surprised me with lots of sweet packages my freshman year in college. One of the packages I received, she sent it to me. Even living in South Carolina, I've grown to love this soundtrack even more, because of the southern (actually Louisiana). A lot of the scenery always reminds me of Charleston. The whole album is a sweet mixture of french meets cajun meets blues.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Featuring: Blind Uncle Gaspard, Vincent & Mr. Green, Jimmy Reed, Ann Savoy, Macy Gray, Taj Mahal, Richard & Linda Thompson, Lauryn Hill, Slim Harpo, Ray Charles, Alison Krauss, Mahalia Jackson, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan and Bob Schneider


Monday, June 20, 2011

A Father's Day Jazz Party

This post is way overdue, but I had to share what we did for my dad for Father's Day.

My dad has always been a huge jazz fanatic. Since this was the first Father's Day I could be a part of since 2006, we wanted to make it a little special. Our plan was to throw a jazz-inspired lunch party -- something simple and affordable. We created the party decor with all things I already had, which just left us to pitch in for food. The colors we chose were purples, blues, blacks and silvers. Music was a no-brainer - his favorite, Down to the Bone. I was pretty happy with our complete and very simple DIY celebration!

Crazy to have the four of us together at once!

On the menu..
My homemade, stuffed Bacon-Cheddar Hamburgers, "Mom's baked beans", Potato Salad, Fruit, Mountain Dew and Orange Pop (duh!) and Raspberry Jell-o Poke Cupcakes. Since we were still preparing the food and we weren't ready, we had to keep him occupied with our own jazzy entertainment.. oh my word! Haha

Nothing like "Down to the Bone"!
Vanessa, showing her true colors.. 

Frosting the cupcakes
 Like I said, we did things small and simple. Wrapped vases, candles and some easy little DIY stuff. To pull in the "jazz", we cut out some music notes out of black cardstock. I was pretty set on creating a sort of "piano-ish runner out of paper.. It was more "abstract" than I planned, but I thought it turned out pretty cute!

He was pretty impressed with all of our hard work!

Fringed streamers and circle garland definitely made the room feel more "jazzy" (oh, sheesh!)
Piano runner

Always chaos!

Lunch was full of memories of Daddio. Lots of laughs!
The Raspberry Jello-o Poke Cupcakes were to die for.. Vanessa made the cute toppers!

Mum & Dad
After stuffing ourselves, we jumped into an intense 8-person game of Wahoo.. What a fun day!

Wahoooo! (Looks like the girls were winning.. HA!)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Umbrella Hunting, Tears of Joy and Jade's Big Day

Ohhh my word.. I can't even describe how happy and excited I am for my friend and college roomie, Jade. She's finally married.

Jade and I stood next to Mulder on her wedding day, Jade and Mulder stood next to me on my wedding day and finally it was Jade's turn to be the bride. I have to admit, with the whole "trying to move" thing, made it really hard for me to be a part of any of the excitement build up, or even bridal showers (which was the case with Mulder's too..). But -- we live here now. We LIVE here. And now I can be a part of things and not miss out anymore! 

Mulder's Wedding - 8/10/07
My Wedding - 10/25/08
With our huge move to MN and our budget, Jade and I agreed that it would be sweet for me to be a part of the wedding, but as her personal attendant. What an honor to be able to spend the entire day by her side, doing my best to make her Day the most special and memorable day ever. I have never been a personal attendant before, but I knew what the role included. I also have a whole new appreciation for my friends, Michelle and Ali, who were my personal attendants. They dealt with so many unorganized tasks I left on them -- my centerpieces, setup, everything!!! I feel like I'm a pretty organized person, but wow, I really should buy them a couple more thank you gifts! HA! 

It was really great to be included in Jade's rehearsal and groom's dinner. All of the day-before-excitement while  practicing the walk down the aisle, plus an amazing dinner. The evening was fantastic. I hadn't seen Jade or Muld since last fall and I also hadn't seen some old friends, Ashley (another college roomie) and Sarah in years. It was so fun to catch up and finally see Mulder's baby bump! Gahhh! As if the night couldn't get any better, Ash scored free tickets to Britney Spears and asked me if I wanted to go! Britney. Free. Great seats, worth 150$. How fun!

Ashley, Jade, Me & Mulder
Cliche "hand heart" on the baby bump.. Couldn't stop laughing!
Two of my dearest friends in the world --
The next day belonged to Jade and Nate. Jade texted me around 7am, sharing her fear about the rain and asking me to find 12, black, matching umbrellas for the wedding party and photos. Of course, I could do that! Anything for the bride! Besides, umbrellas couldn't be more that $3 or $4 a piece, right? Uhhhhh...

Can I just say, my husband is a saint. Since I had to be there so early and the wedding was such a long drive away, we decided to drive together and he would just stay occupied until the ceremony, while I was off with the girls. We decided to leave an hour earlier than planned, so we could track down the umbrellas. 

My first thought was Target. Good, ol' Tar-jey always seems to come through. I called to see if they could pull a bunch for me and I quickly learned that umbrellas were nowhere near $3.00 a piece, but more like $15-25.00 a piece. I thought I might throw up. Of course it's typical that during this time in our lives, with the move and all the chaos going on, our budget was pretty tight for an extra 200$, even though I knew Jade would pay me back. There was no way I was going to text/call Jade to tell her that it might be tricky for me, still unsure if she realizes how much they cost herself. Instead of freaking out, I decided to call Mulder for some ideas. She suggested the 'dollar store', and I felt like she hit the jackpot. 

I rushed off the phone to begin calling every Dollar Tree in the area, in search of 12, black umbrellas. In the meantime, Target had 12 set aside for me that matched, but they were $20.00 each. I found another Dollar Tree with "plenty more than 12", so we headed there first. Although I asked if they had them in black, the cashier kid failed to understand that tiny detail. I went in with loads of joy and relief, to find out that they had plenty alright -- Plenty in janky colors with polkas and stripes. Wahhhh!! Why?! We headed back to the other Dollar Tree where I found 2. I took them, unsure if we would continue stopping at Dollar Trees on our way, or if we would just take the chance that we could find some pretty similar somewhere else. No luck. By that time, it had been wet/rainy/humid, already annihilating my hair and makeup. Great. We checked one more Dollar Tree before giving up and just going to Target. No umbrellas had been set aside for me in customer service like they said (typical.) so I rushed to find them myself. The little liars said they were $20 a piece but they had some decent black ones for $11! I dug my little heart out to find 10 more that matched (since I already had 2 from the Dollar Tree) and there were exactly 10. Pure luck?? Not sure how that happened, because I'm far from lucky!

By the time I bought them all, we were running over an hour behind. We were in a huge rush to get to the salon.. I didn't want to miss out, plus some of the girls needed a ride back to the church. Justin waited patiently and chauffeured us around where we needed to go. 

Starting early at the salon and rushing around in the on-and-off rain, totally reminded me of my wedding day. What a complete rush of disappointment to know that the forecast for your wedding day is RAIN. I felt for her. I was able to catch a few photos of everyone getting their hair done before we ran back to the church. 

Getting beautified!
Mrs. Hubert! Well, almost.. <3
I definitely got a workout that day as a personal attendant, there's so much to do and keep smooth. I gotta say, I did a pretty good job holding my emotions together (weddings make me cry like a baby!), until 15 minutes before the ceremony, I checked on Jade's dad and he was getting choked up himself. Ohhh, I was a gonner.

Getting ready!

The ceremony was beautiful. Yes, I cried like a little baby.

Lighting the Unity Candle
Hugging the parents, even MORE emotional!
I just love this picture..
Minus Jade's sister, Mandy
It continued to rain on and off, but the photos turned out SO cute! We went to the Arboretum.. I wanna go back, it was so pretty!

Jade, being Jade
Sarah, Ash & Mulder
Jade and I had some good laughs, because I kept telling her, "I feel like a wet dog!". Finally the reception came, the food was fantastic and I was able to catch up with the guys. The rest of the night was full of dancing and laughing.. especially me laughing at Mulder's funny facial expressions and dance moves.. Oh my word, it's so good to be back. 

Me and my hunky husband
Dancing the night away..

Oh yeah, we're the ones!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Our First Weeks Living in Minnesota

It would be an understatement to say that life has been moving FAST since we've moved. It seriously seems like yesterday, when Lanae & Jordan flew to Greenville to help us pack and move. I'm shocked that we've actually been here more than a month. I mean, whaat?! So much has happened - even in just the first week. This post is obviously long overdue, but I couldn't leave it out.

Since we've moved, we've experienced so many different emotions. I still can't believe we actually did it. We knew it would be hard to say goodbye to our friends in Greenville, not to even mention Justin's brothers. It's been a serious challenge to stay with my parents while we find a house - even though is super short term. I love my family. It's just really difficult to live here again after years of independence and privacy. We both agree that since we've been here, it just feels like a janked up vacation.. not like we live here. Probably won't actually set in, until we do have our own place.

I miss and don't miss so many things about SC. I miss the palm trees and quick roadtrip to the beach. I don't miss the crazy drivers. I miss my job and the ability to further my career in counseling. I don't miss dealing with unreliable people on a daily basis. I miss my friends, favorite restaurants and downtown. I don't miss the long drive to IKEA, Forever 21 or a decent mall.

On the other hand.. Minnesota is mostly amazing, especially in the summer. I've missed being able to walk barefoot in the grass. I've missed my family and friends. I've missed the music scene and great venues. I've missed Culver's and good cheese. I've missed the Drive-In and being so close to the Cities. I haven't missed the cold. I haven't missed the snow. I haven't missed "tornado season". Did I say I haven't missed the snow? Ish. Hanging in there for the next couple months, praying I won't go into shock once it hits.

So the move happened. We were able to unpack the Uhaul and have it returned without any trouble. It was a bummer that my little bro, Mitch, was away at a training for the Natl. Guard, but it was really great to see my sisters and parents. My mom had picked up some extra tickets for Justin and I to go to a Foster the People show with her and a couple friends for our first weekend. So exciting!

I've been getting to know Foster over the past couple months, thanks to my Mum and her fantastic taste in music. Gardens and Villa opened for the super-small show at the Fine Line in Minneapolis. Incredible show!

Waiting for the show to start
Gardens and Villa
Me, Lori, my Mom & Sarah
Mark Foster of Foster the People.. we were super close!
Rockin' out
Pumped Up Kicks.
My little mom and me
Our hunt for jobs continued. Justin and I both found a couple job opportunities, which we were excited to interview for. One of the interviews I went to, the guy who met with me totally reminded me of Ed Helms. Same exact mannerisms, it was bizarre! The interview went really well, but the job was a really long drive and the pay and inconvenience wouldn't have been worth it. Justin met with a pallet company he had been looking into and after multiple-step interviews, he was offered the job! What a total blessing and answer to prayer!

A couple nights later, we decided to go to the Drive-In. I grew up going all the time (especially in the summer) with my family. I've definitely missed out over the past years I've lived in SC, without any drive-in's anywhere! I really don't know why, but for the last several times we've gone, we end up taking tons of pictures. Before the movies.. in between the movies.. after the movies.. Bummer Vanessa couldn't make it, we had a really fun time!

Always a little game of "catch" before the movie starts

The fam, plus Zak, minus Mitch & Vanessa

The next night, we decided to plan our first "Girl's Night" with my mom and sisters. Since Father's Day was just around the corner, we took advantage of our time together and pulled together a jazz-inspired little lunch party I wanted to organize for our Dad. Just like the old days, we made mini English Muffin Pizzas and watched I Love Lucy while pumping the creativity for the party. What an amazing long-overdue night!

Of course, I broke out the Fish Eye setting on my camera for a few more silly pictures.. We all almost peed!

Justin and I were so overjoyed that he found a job. His job has been hard for him already, just a lot of new challenges and after working in a freezer all day long for 5 years, he now will be working outside - in all weather. Poor guy. At least our humidity here isn't quite as awful as SC. I was also able to connect with my old Account Exec for Chanel - whom I worked 5 years ago, before I moved to SC. We met and she offered me a job as a freelance makeup artist! Oh my, I'm so happy to be working for Chanel again. I've had a couple events already, but it hasn't been as consistent as I was hoping. For the pay and opportunity to play with my favorite makeup, it's worth it, even just for a weekend or 2 a month. But for a full time job? My job hunt continues.

So many great memories and it's only been a couple weeks.


[SC and MN photos, click for source]
Related Posts with Thumbnails