lately: wedding time!

Last weekend, two of our dearest friends tied the knot. It was everything I could have possibly imagined, and even more so! The hubs and the groom go way back – we’re talking grade school, peeps! He was the best man in the wedding, and I was so proud of him – he prepared the most amazing trip for the guys, gave a wonderful toast, and basically rocked the title of “best man”. But I digress. 

It wouldn’t be in true Alicia form to let such a momentous occasion pass by without sharing some of the shots from the weekend with y’all, so here’s a peak in! Cheers to the newlyweds, we love you!

Alicia xoxo

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lately: family visit!

I am beyond blessed to have such awesome parents! My mom and dad were in town to visit recently, and with the gorgeous weekend weather we made the most of our time together! A delicious dinner was on tap for Friday night (one of our favorite local places}. Saturday was spent outside; we all knocked out our early morning exercise and proceeded north to get in some paddle-boating action! Not wanting to miss out, we stopped by two of our local breweries for flights and bites. The evening was spent al fresco on our deck; grilling burgers, enjoying cocktails, and winding down with a fire pit. I was so sad to see them go on Sunday, but with the promise of fun activities in the upcoming months, I have those to look forward to!  Love you, Mom and Dad!

Alicia xoxo

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lately: wedding season, part 1

This a big year for many of our closest friends! To date, we’ve been honored to attending 2 weddings already this “season” – and we still have more to come! I thought it would be fun to post some of the photos, sort of as a glimpse into these relationships we are so lucky to be part of : ) one of the weddings was local {yay, no travelling!} and the other was up north, which was drawn out into a family trip {see here!}. both were equally fun and amazing, and we look forward to celebrating these dear friends for many years to come! 

…and don’t worry, a recap for more of our wedding season celebrations will follow in the later months! x o x o 

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happy birthday, dad!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

…who never missed a game, a meet, or anything in between

…who will always be the calm to any storm

…to my favorite storyteller

…to the best running partner, and marathon buddy, a girl could ask for

…to the giver of sage advice, no matter what time it is {via phone, email or mail!}

…to a guy who appreciates good beer, and good wine!

…to my fellow PACKERS fan : )

…to the best “dadman” out there

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I love you, Dad!

~love,

your favorite first-born

4th of July – how to celebrate!

Another holiday means another round up of ideas, trips & tricks for all of those who might be hosting {or co-hosting} a party! While we won’t be hosting this year, I spent some time perusing the web to make life a bit easier for y’all : )

As always, feel free to leave suggestions/tips/ways to not go crazy in the comments!

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Food & Drink

4th of July Recipes {via Food Network}

4th of July Food {via Southern Living}

Healthy 4th of July Recipe & Menu Ideas {via Eating Well}

Throw a Kid-Friendly 4th of July Party {via She Knows}

4th of July Drinks {via Food & Wine}

Red, White & Booze: Awesome Drinks to Sip on {via Cosmopolitan}

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Decor

4th of July Party Decorations {via Good Housekeeping}

Easy 4th of July Decorations {via Better Homes & Gardens}

Simply Chic 4th of July Decorating Ideas {via HGTV}

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Games & Activities

10 Outdoor Games to Try at Your BBQ {via Huffington Post}

4th of July Ideas for Kids {via Disney Family}

Drinking Games for the 4th of July {via Drinking in America}

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Happy planning, y’all!

happy memorial day

Memorial-Day-images

Many people view Memorial Day weekend as the “kick-off” to summer; time to bring out the grill, open pools, create the first official outdoor gathering with friends. And let’s do that because we can – we can celebrate our freedom and our wonderful lives because of those who have served our country. Both in the past and present, and those destined to serve in the future, {& their family members and their support systems, too!}; let’s remember them today, offer a toast in their honor. Because of them, we are able to celebrate this day. 

Everyone, on your long weekend, take a minute {or two} to honor those who have made it possible for us to enjoy days like today. We are truly blessed. 

lately: graduation weekend

As you saw from Friday’s post, the hubs and I were home for a long weekend, celebrating a huge milestone for my sister Jackie : ) We spent the weekend touring Richmond – soaking in the graduation ceremonies, exploring the downtown area, and of course…lots of good eats and drinks! What made it even more special was that we got to see several of my extended family members, some of whom I haven’t seen for quite some time. Here’s a peak into how we spent our time!

-Alicia xoxo 

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lately: the in-laws were here!

Recently, my wonder in-laws and sister-in-law were here. We planned a full week and a half while they were here; packing in everything from hikes, to a nice dinner out, and everything in between. Here are some snapshots of our adventures – some of the views might make you long for the outside, and the food may or may not make you hungry! 

Alicia xoxo

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congrats, jackie!

…from our goofy days as kiddos, to her undergraduate graduation from Duke University, I couldn’t be more proud of my middle sister, Jackie. We’re celebrating her 2nd graduation this weekend – but this time, from medical school! She’s headed back to Duke this summer to begin her residency; a four-year stint full of what is sure to bring even more knowledge and skills to her already extremely smart and savvy self. Cheers to you, Jackie – I love you!

Alicia xoxo

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hosting 101

I don’t know about y’all, but our summer months are usually filled {happily} with an influx of visitors. Some from nearby, others we may only see a few times a year – regardless of whom is coming, I like to make sure that each and every guest feels as welcome and at home as possible. The hubs and I have owned our home for 5 {!} years next month, and I must say that we’ve done a pretty upstanding job of making sure our home is always guest-friendly with little to no extra time/effort involved. I’ve come up with a list of my favorite tips & tricks, as well as some helpful articles, that have been useful for us both in the past and present; hopefully, they’ll make life a bit easier for you!

c/o a good hostess

c/o a good hostess

*feel free to share: what are some of the ways you love to make your friends and family feel at home, while in your home?*

-Alicia xoxo 

Helpful Articles:

Some of my Favorite Things to Do:

  • last minute guests dropping by? I always find it helpful to carve aside 20 minutes after work, just a few days each week, to do a quick vacuum and spot check of the house; tidy up any loose ends on tables, clean up any pet spills/nose marks on the windows, straighten the curtains and throw pillows. The house will instantly look fresh and well-kept.
  • Candles! I am a huge fan of candles; not only do they add a wonderful ambiance to any room, day or night, but the crisp and fresh smells really bring the home to life. I try to pick ones that match the season – think bright floral notes for spring and summer, spicy and warm aromas for the cooler months.
  • On that same note, be sure to be mindful of guests’ allergies. Are they bothered by pet dander, or sensitive to certain aromas? Try to remove any offensive items a few days beforehand, to make sure that everyone will be comfortable. Non-scented odor eaters can be a lifesaver.
  • Fresh linens are key! Make sure that your guest bed{s} look cozy and inviting; I tend to layer on extra blankets so that guests can pick and choose what they like. The same goes with pillows; the bigger the selection, the better chance of ensuring comfort.
  • Pick up a few of their favorite food/drink items so that they feel welcome from the start; no one wants to be running to the store at the last second! 
  • Finally – HAVE FUN!

Happy Hosting!