Wedding Recap: The Ceremony

…Finally the wedding ceremony pictures!  If you missed the rehearsal dinner  recap be sure to check it out!  Sorry for such a long post….but out of over 400 pictures…it was hard to post only a handful to share with y’all!

Growing up my parents always took Megan and I to the beach every summer.  My mom would have to drag us out of the water to get us to eat a quick sandwich and slap on some more suntan lotion before we were back in the water diving through the waves.  LJ and I both grew up spending many summers down in Emerald Isle, NC.  Since LJ and I both share an appreciation for the beach (and my parents conveniently live 15 minutes away from it), we  couldn’t think of a better place to get married!

The weather is generally gorgeous in Wilmington during October…BUT…with it it being an outdoor ceremony and still technically hurricane season I did a lot of stressing the weeks up to the wedding.  By stressing I mean I may or may not have obsessively checked the 10-day forecast an embarrassing amount.  Fortunately, we could not have asked for a better day to get married on the beach in front of the Hanover Seaside Club.  It was sunny, 70’s, with a cool beach breeze.

The day started pretty early for the girls.  We had to start getting hair and make-up done at 10 am for a 5 pm wedding!  The girls of Hypnotix Spalon traveled to my parents house to do our hair and make-up so we could relax and not worry about rushing around.  I was still a nervous wreck, but it was nice to enjoy a mimosa and spend time relaxing with my bridesmaids.

Now I will do less writing and let you enjoy the pictures…… The dress dress detail make-up

Me with one of my best friends from Tech (Julia)

Julia and I

The best part about a beach ceremony….I got to wear flip flops!

flip flops Our flowers were done by June Sweeny.  She did an OUTSTANDING job.  My mom, sister, and I only met with her once.  I told her what colors I wanted and that I wanted more of a natural look with succulents, orchids, roses, and a lot of texture.  Her creation for the bouquets and centerpieces at the reception were beyond my expectations.  I definitely recommend her! flowers My mom made the vases seen below for all of the bridesmaids.  They placed their bouquets in them and then at the reception they served as the flowers at the head table.  They also made for a cute and unique gift for the bridesmaids!vase holders dress SO thankful for Megan.  It took awhile to do all of those buttons! buttons

Julia, Mallory, Ryanne, Megan, Amanda, Missy


Sister’s pictureMeg and I Ryanne Ryanne2

The Floyd Family: Megan, Jim, Ryanne, and Jane


We made a sign from an old wooden picket fence.  I did a single layer of white paint and tried to make it look distressed.  My mom painted the coral and wrote our names.Sign1 Sign2 I made the starfish aisle markers.  I took a dow rod, hot glued the starfish to one end and tied a green ribbon at the top.  We stuck them in the sand to make an “aisle” for the wedding party to walk down. starfish aisle

Chris, Isaac, Dakota, Adam and LJ

I decided to make starfish pins instead of using the traditional flower boutineer.  I thought it tied in with our beach theme.106 handsome groom Megan Dad and I Dad, me, mom 178181

Laughing because LJ’s ring was a little hard to slip over his knuckle….I was worried it wasn’t going to fit!189197207 214

Woohoo! We’re married!  I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  Check back for the after ceremony pictures and the reception!


Girls’ Night and Brown Sugar Pecan Brie

Every Monday night some of my girlfriends and I get together to catch up, eat good food, play with our newest Bachelor watching buddy Baby Anna, and of course watch the reality show The Bachelor.  Don’t judge!  Sometimes after coming home from working with my clients it’s nice to watch TV shows that require no mental effort at all!


Since this Monday night tradition started, I always think about ways my grandmother DaGa would get together with her friends for “Girls Night” back in the day.  She and her friends would  get together every other Tuesday to play bridge (which requires much more effort than watching The Bachelor).  Just like my friends and I she and her friends would rotate who would host each time.  She would have her card tables set up with table cloths, provide desserts such as pineapple upside down cake as well as other snacks like mints and nuts.

It was my turn to play hostess on Monday night.  We first went to Sugarland, a delicious bakery that originated in Chapel Hill, NC and just moved to Cameron Village in Raleigh.  They have 5$ martinis that they make with their homemade gelato that are fabulous! Next we came back to my place to watch The Bachelor.  This week I made snickerdoodles and Brown Sugar Pecan Brie.  I apologize for not having many pictures, but I was trying to make it fast when everyone was there since it tastes much better if served immediately!

Brown Sugar Pecan Brie

Print recipe here



About 1.5 tbsp. of butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 wedge brie cheese

3 tbsp. bourbon or whiskey (optional)


Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat.  Add in the pecans and toast.  Then add in the brown sugar and bourbon or whiskey.  If you or you’re husband drank it all and you didn’t realize it until the last minute (like me) you can substitute water instead.  Let everything mix together, stirring occasionally for about a minute.


Pour over your brie wedge and serve with crackers.  It’s a simple appetizer that is a definite crowd pleaser!

Tonight we’re going to the Rodeo! I’m making Ginnie’s chocolate cake to take to our pre-rodeo party.  Check back in to see pictures and the recipe 🙂

Wedding Recap: The Rehearsal Dinner

Good afternoon everyone!

Many of you know that my husband (LJ) and I got married on October 13, 2012 in Wrightsville Beach, NC.  SO it may have been three months (and a day) since I got married, but now that the holidays are over and we have a disc of all of our professional photos, Megan and I thought it would be fun to share a recap of different parts of the wedding with y’all.   Better late than never…….right?

I wanted to first give a shout-out to our photographer Erin Whittle.  She is an awesome person with an amazing talent.  She did an OUTSTANDING job capturing the beauty, love, details and laughter of our big day.  My mom always says that the best photographer is one you don’t notice during the ceremony and reception.  She is so right.  I’ve been to weddings where it seems like the photographer is practically elbowing the bridesmaids out of the way to get pictures of the bride and groom during the ceremony.  I don’t remember once seeing Erin during the ceremony or reception (other than obvious times).  Now, my not noticing her maybe had something to do with the fact that I was about to make the biggest commitment of my life (!!!), BUT, my point is if you are in the Wilmington area and are in need of a photographer–I HIGHLY recommend her.  We couldn’t be happier with our pictures (and with my decision to marry LJ).

The obvious place to start would be with the rehearsal.  Our rehearsal took place at my parents gorgeous back yard.    Once we finished rehearsing we headed downtown to the City Club at de Rosset  where the rehearsal dinner was held.  It is a simply southern mansion that was built in 1841 by a prominent family in Wilmington, NC.  It now serves as a social club that hosts many weddings, private parties, and rehearsal dinners every year.  They have rooms on the second floor that are rented out to members (that is where we stayed our wedding night).

The City Club

My mother-in-law Robin, did a wonderful job with the table numbers!  Aren’t they cute?

Table Numbers

She also painted wine glasses for the bride and groom.

wine glasses

My husband LJ and I in the gorgeous gardens in front of The City Club.

Ryanne and LJ

LJ and I with my parents Jane and Jim Floyd


Megan (matron of honor) and her husband Matt

Megan and MattLJ and I with his sisters (my new sisters) Paige and Leigh

The UlrichsLJ and I with LJ’s father Joe and step-mother Shari Ulrich

Joe and Shari

LJ and I with LJ’s mom Robin Hasz


LJ with his grandparents Dick and Faye Hasz


After cocktail hour we sat down to enjoy a delicious dinner.  We started with a simple wedge salad.  LJ and I decided on shrimp n’ grits as our entree.  I wanted to make sure all of our northern guests got a taste of the south.  The City Club definitely did not disappoint!   We got tons of compliments on how good the food was!

After passing out gifts, the father of the groom toast, and many laughs later, we headed off to one of our favorite bars in Wilmington– Level Five.  Level Five is a rooftop bar in downtown Wilmington.  We went there the night before Megan and Matt’s wedding, so we continued the tradition for mine.  We had to get a family picture with the newest addition (LJ).

Level 5

LJ and I are so blessed to be a part of two wonderful families.  We had such a great time celebrating with friends and family the night before we got hitched.  Stay tuned for the ceremony and reception wedding recaps!

Happy Monday!

Something Old, Something New Part III!

Hello friends!  Yesterday I woke up to an exciting early morning delivery from Mr. John Owens.  He reupholstered some wingback chairs for me that were in dire need of a makeover and did an AMAZING job; I highly recommend him if you’re in the Raleigh/Clinton, NC area.  I was trying to find a “before” picture of the chairs but couldn’t find one.  Just imagine the ugliest pea-green color in a velvety fabric and that’s what they looked like.  One was from my mother and the other I inherited from my grandmother (they were a pair).  And here’s what they now look like, just in time for hosting The Bachelor viewing party with my girlfriends on Monday!


Aren’t they beautiful!? I love that old furniture can be revitalized.  You can buy wingbacks from Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen, but they are often super expensive and let’s face it… they just don’t make furniture the same anymore.  I got the fabric, which is really heavy duty, from Printer’s Alley in Raleigh.  I highly recommend them as they have  super cute fabrics in a variety of price ranges.  As Mr. Owens was taking away our wingbacks to get their makeover I noticed they were made in Hickory, NC.  He kept commenting on what good chairs they were.  So I’m glad we’ve been able to give these comfy chairs a snazzy new life and helped the environment by not taking them to the dump… bonus points!


A close up of the fabric.


The fabric coordinates with some pillows I made for our couch a few years ago, but isn’t too matchy-matchy.


And it also coordinates with our dining room chairs that I reupholstered with an ikat print also from Printer’s Alley.  For more information on how to do this check out Ryanne’s post.


And the finishing touch, a new orchid.  Now I’m excited to eventually empty out our storage unit and revitalize other furniture I inherited from my grandmother!

Warm up with some chili

I hope each of you are enjoying a relaxing Sunday.  My husband (LJ) and I took our Christmas tree down and put the decorations away yesterday.  It’s always sad when the holiday’s are over.  We were lucky to continue our celebration through New Years, where we traveled north to Hershey, PA to celebrate with LJ’s family.  It snowed our whole drive up north.  It was our golden retriever’s first time in the snow….she absolutely LOVED it!

molly snow

The whole time I was watching the snow on our drive up to Pennsylvania I kept thinking how nice it would be to warm up with a bowl of chili.  This chili recipe comes from my good friend Mallory. We first made this chili together our first year in graduate school when we got TONS of snow.  So much that the University of Pittsburgh closed classes for three days!  I fell in love with the spiciness and heartiness of this recipe.  The two KEY ingredients are chili peppers in adobo sauce and cinnamon.  I never thought of putting cinnamon in chili…..but it is delicious!  I haven’t made chili any other way since!

Print Recipe Here

For Chili You’ll Need:

1 can kidney beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can black beans (or whatever beans you like)

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

8 oz can tomato sauce

6 oz tomato paste

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp Chili powder

1 tsp Cumin

2 tsp tomato paste

chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 red onion

1 red pepper

1 cup chopped carrots

1.5 cup frozen corn (optional)

You can also add ground beef or turkey to this recipe if you choose!


First pull out your crock-pot and put it on low.  Dice red onion and pepper (into about 1/2 inch chunks), slice carrots and mince garlic.  Place into the crock-pot.

Diced veggies

Remove one of the chili peppers from adobo sauce.  Mince and place in the crockpot.  You can add another if you like your chili extra spicy!  Since I usually make a couple of chili batches over the winter I keep the extra peppers in a Pyrex container in my refrigerator.

minced peppers

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste to the crock-pot.  Drain and add the kidney, black, and garbanzo beans.


Finally add 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp cinnamon,  salt and pepper to taste, and a dash (~1 tsp) of sugar.  I always taste my chili as it cooks and the flavors marinate, from there I add more spices as needed.


Mix the chili together well and place lid on the crock-pot.  Cook on low for about 4-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.  Once the chili is cooked enjoy with a dash of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream (I used non-fat greek yogurt instead).

finished product

Hopefully this chili keeps you warm on this chilly Sunday.  What’s your secret chili ingredient?