lately: #chesterlyeverafter

Last weekend, we celebrated the marriage of our dear friends, Seth & Allison. It was an amazing, epic, fabulous, stupendous, and fun weekend – so full of love and laughter, we were sad to see the end of it! From the start of the festivities at the rehearsal dinner, to the final send-off after Sunday brunch, we couldn’t have asked for a better time. I was honored to be a part of the bridal party, and couldn’t think of a better way to show off the weekend than here, for you all! I hope you enjoy the peak in : ) 

Cheers to the beautiful new couple! 

Alicia x0x0

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lately: brew-do weekend 2015!

Another beer festival for the books! Although we’ve been a bit behind the curve with festivals this year {we’ve been busy!}, we make sure to never miss one of our favorites. The best part?! – it’s local! While we love travelling far and wide, especially in the name of craft beer, it’s nice to be just a few minutes away from such a celebration. We had glorious weather, delicious food, and of course…SO.MUCH.BEER.

The weekend was extra special this year, too – we had a surprise visitor on Sunday! My youngest sister was in the area, so we met up for a solid 8-mile Sunday hike, followed by {you guessed it!} more beer at one of our favorite local breweries. It was a fabulous weekend, and sister time made it extra special. 

Here’s a look! 

Alicia xo

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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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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!

planning our summer fun with eventbrite!

I recently found out about Eventbrite and their ‘Summer Food Bucket List’ campaign, so naturally, I decided to join in! Eventbrite is an amazing technology platform that allows users to find events going on in their area, as well as gives users the ability to promote and manage their own events, too!

 

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Pretty cool, am I right?!

You guys already know that the hubs and I spend A LOT of time travelling, and this summer is no different! While it won’t be as crazy as last year’s {read: here, here, and here to a fun little refresher!}, we still have a lot of fun things planned. And of course, it wouldn’t be an “Alicia” trip if we didn’t have a lot of our “wining & dining” experiences already planned out.

Let’s take a look and see what’s on the agenda, shall we?

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One of our all-time favorite events is, hands-down, the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival. This is the festival of all festivals – great food, great drinks, and great entertainment. The hubs and I have gone for at least the past 4 years, and we certainly don’t plan on missing it anytime soon! We decided to step up our game last year and order the ‘VIP’ tickets; best idea ever! You receive an extra two hours at the festival and “special” experiences {cooking demonstrations, whole hog picking}, not to mention a variety of exclusive bourbons and beers on the VIP holders get to take! Clearly, that was a big enough selling point for us — > you know how the hubs and I appreciate good bourbon! On my tasting list: lots of BBQ, specialty food items from local vendors {mustard, jams & jellies, and spirits, to name a few}, and of course, bourbon! All the liquor vendors do a great job of mixing up cocktails specifically for the event, so I’m excited to try those as well!

Being the wine lovers that we are, and the fact that we live so close to our favorite local winery, we’ve got several events of theirs on our radar, too! The one that I am most excited about is their Cheesy Dinner, held in July – course after course of delicious, cheesy-filled meals paired with their spectacular wines. They do a great job of souring locally, too, so it’s one to look forward to, for sure! And besides, with a cheese-centered meal, what could not be perfect about that?

Lastly, the hubs and I have our annual week-long trip planned. We’ll be strolling the coast of South Carolina for a few days to kick off our week! At the recommendation of my sister: a 5-course meal set up at R.Kitchen, cocktails at The Warehouse {their bourbon drinks are off the charts amazing!}, as well as some brewery and distillery tours {here, here, and here!}. I’m super excited about the meal at R.Kitchen – the chefs their plan their menus daily, so it’s an adventure every time!

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…so you can see, we’ve got our plates full! no pun intended, haha. And you know that I’ll be reporting back after each trip with my “lately” posts, so be sure to keep an eye out for those too!

Happy summer, and happy eating, y’all!

happy memorial day

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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. 

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!

lately: easter weekend

This past Easter was spent at home with some special visitors – my youngest sister & her boyfriend! We enjoyed a delicious Mexican dinner on Friday night, followed some winery & brewery hopping on Saturday. Though not pictured, our slightly modified Easter dinner was enjoyed on Saturday evening – grilled lamb burgers, roasted asparagus…and of course, some chocolates! We took them to one of our favorite local brunch spots before their Sunday departure; take a peek into how the weekend looked : ) 

-Alicia xoxo

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How was your Easter?!

lately: beer and bacon

…the title of this post says it all – the 2nd annual beer and bacon festival! We were lucky enough to snag VIP tickets again this year, and spent a glorious weekend down in North Carolina with dear friends {who, by the way, are recently engaged; talk about a great way to celebrate!} Plentiful sunshine and a crisp breeze made the morning/afternoon event totally fabulous, and evenings were spent playing cards and catching up on the happenings in each others’ lives. Here’s a peak into the weekend! 

-Alicia xoxo

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Happy Easter!

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…wishing everyone a joyous Easter celebration. Enjoy the day spent with family, friends, & loved ones!

-Alicia xoxo