November 26, 2014

Weekend in the ATL

The Boy and I took a trip down to Atlanta last weekend. He was speaking at the Southern Economic Conference and I tagged along because I love hotels and happy hours.

He loves car rides with me…

Traffic was pretty rough so we didn't get to the hotel until dinner time. We got checked in and headed straight to the local brewery, Max Lager’s. We got a flight of their beers so we could try all of the local brews. Justin liked all of the beers I didn’t and I liked all of the beers he didn’t. #meantforeachother

Justin had to present at 8am on Saturday. I woke up with him at 5:30 so he could run through his presentation one last time…and then I fell back asleep 10 minutes into the presentation. #bestfianceever When I finally decided to wake back up around 8am, I headed down to what I can only describe as the BEST hotel gym I have ever used and ran 3 miles.

Check it out! The Boy is FAMOUS!

I spent then entire day doing homework while Justin attended conference sessions all day. 6:00 took forever to roll around and I was more than ready for Happy Hour. Does anyone remember the Friends episode where they all go to Ross’s conference? 

It was pretty accurate…economists aren't quite as nerdy as TV paleontologists…but they’re a pretty close second :)

My favorite people in the world drove up to stay with us on Saturday night (pretend there is a picture here since I forgot to take one). On Sunday, Justin had to get up and attend more conference sessions while the rest of us slept in and played in the hotel room. 

The 20th Floor is SO HIGH UP!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to the World of Coca-Cola for a tour and tasting. It was a pretty neat place – there were lots of exhibits about the history of Coke and plenty of Coke art to see. I really enjoyed all of the decorated Coke bottles around the building.

We got to see the Coke Vault where the secret formula is locked away. Levi tried to steal it, but was not successful (bummer).

Did you know that in 1995, a Coke dispenser was sent to space on the Discovery shuttle?

We went to a 4D movie (which was a little lame, but probably would have been cool if we were 8) and then it was finally time for the tasting!

There were over 100 flavors of soda to try from around the world. Sodas from Africa were way to sweet. The had one that strait up tasted like toothpaste – so weird. We tried every single one from every single country. There were a few that I liked, but not many I would want to see at my grocery store! It’s pretty crazy how different taste buds are in other countries. Japan even had a “Vegitabeta” flavor.

At the end of the visit, everyone gets a free bottle of Coke! If you visit Atlanta, the World of Coca-Cola is definitely worth the $16 admission fee. After the tour, we had to pack up and head north again. It was a fantastic mini-vacation for me and Justin made a lot of connections at the conference. Now it’s back to the real world for a couple of days before we get a break from Thanksgiving.

Who’s been to Atlanta? World of Coca-Cola?
Who is traveling for Thanksgiving this week?

November 24, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake

First, I would like to point out that during my google search for an image I procrastinated took the time to learn where that phase came from and my mind was blown a little bit. Thank you Wikipedia

Now – to get back to the point of this post – let’s focus on two key words, CAKE and EAT.

CAKE: If there is one thing Justin has been passionate about during this whole “wedding planning thing” it’s that we WILL have awesome cake and he WILL get to eat some of it. People keep telling them he will be so busy during the reception that he won’t get a piece...he’s willing to skip the first dance if it means he can eat some cake.

We went to THREE bakeries in search of the perfect cake. We developed a proprietary cake tasting rating system that we used for all three when comparing flavors, moistness, icing melt in your mouthness – you know – the important things!

Sweet Stuff was by far the winner for the most AMAZING cakes in Southern Indiana and it took us about 2.5 seconds to decide we wanted to work with them for our wedding cake. We have plenty of time to decide on what type of design we want and what flavors we want. Design – we already have an idea. Flavor – we argue debate discuss quite frequently :)

from my instagram

EAT: Our venue gave us a list of recommended caterers so we had a really good starting point for this task. I spent way too many hours surfing their websites and trying to narrow down the list. I reached out to four caterers and was easily to narrow it down to two when the quotes came back. I know that “food and beverage” is usually the largest part of any wedding budget, but I was shocked at how high some of the quotes were! Both of the caterers provided tastings for us and we got to try tons of different menu options.

We were able to pick up our food from one of the caterers and enjoy our tasting at home. My only requirement was that Mac n Cheese is one of our side dishes and I was not disappointed! We broke out the proprietary rating system one more and had a blast pretending to be food connoisseurs for the afternoon.

Our second caterer option had us come into their facility and they gave us a full experience with multiple courses and fine china. We knew were weren’t going with the fine china option, but it was a lot of fun.

Ultimately, we decided to work with Ladyfingers Catering for the big day. Their food was more our style and we couldn't find a single thing wrong with any of the food options they let us try during our tasting. We haven’t selected our exact menu yet, but our guests will definitely be enjoying some fantastic BLT mac n cheese on June 20th! If you’re looking for a caterer and your event isn't on June 20th, you should definitely check them out.

Whew! I can’t believe we are only 7 months away! I know we still have a lot of time, but June 20th is going to come around faster than we think.   

November 14, 2014

Well Hello There, NOVEMBER

It’s amazing how fast time flies when you’re so busy all of your days run together and you don’t have time to breathe let alone blog having fun. At some point, I should consider writing a “Day in the Life” post. Maybe it would help me track where all of my time is disappearing to….

ANYWHO….I can’t believe it’s already mid-November. I would love to share every detail of my life from the past few weeks, but I don’t think any of us have that kind of time. Instead, here’s a brief recap of the last few weeks. Grab a cup of coffee and get to reading!

After our awesome Gatlinburg trip, it was back to real life (with a few fun interruptions). The Boy came up to visit over Centre’s fall break and took me on a date. We crossed a few things off of our Pittsburgh Bucket List:

Eating at a restaurant on Mt. Washington: The view was INCREDIBLE…but in order to get a reservation at a table by the window we had to eat dinner at 5:00 and be out by 6:00. The food was mediocre (I guess we were really paying for the view) but the wine was fantastic! Also – you can’t go wrong with a cheese plate.

We rode the Duquesne Incline down to Station Square, stopped for a drink, and then hopped on the T to head downtown. Our next stop was Olive Or Twist. I had heard great things and it did not disappoint! They have live music on the weekend and Justin said the dessert we had “was the best dessert he had ever had and he might love it even more than he loves [me].” SO if you’re ever in Pittsburgh, stop in and try the Banana Caramel Xango.
Facebooking how much he loved that dessert...
He had to go back to Danville, but the very next weekend was Homecoming at Centre C so it was my turn in the car. I’ll go more into detail in another post, but it was an awesome weekend. Friends + Chili + Day Drinking = my kind of weekend.

The next weekend was Halloween (aka one of my FAVORITE holidays) and it was Justin’s turn in the car. We didn't have very many trick-or-treaters so we called it an early night and got together with some friends. Justin & I were introduced to Cards Against Humanity and it is officially on our Christmas list! My friend from work had a costume party on Saturday and I was SO EXCITED since we didn’t get to dress up last year. We made our costumes and I was very concerned that we would have to throw them away and run to the store to buy backups, but they turned out AWESOME. Meet Fred & Wilma :)

Relationship exercise in trust...I survived with all of my hair.

From my instagram

I wasn’t without visitors for long, because my parents came to town last weekend. We were actually pretty lazy (we all needed a little break), but it was a fantastic visit. I showed them where I work, we took a LONG walk, and we went shoe shopping (this was not my dad’s favorite part of the trip). We went to Church at St. Mary’s on the Mount and spent some time on the overlooks on Mt. Washington. I’ve never been up there at night and it was really cool to see all of the lights in the city (it is not cool that it now gets dark at 5pm).

That brings us to this weekend…and my only plans are to do homework. It should be nice and “relaxing.” You’re probably out of coffee by now so I’ll wrap it up. We should do this again some time. I’ll do my best to not wait three weeks before another post (but please don’t hold me to that!).

Enjoy your weekend!