Bourbon Slush


Last weekend LJ and I got all dressed up (sundress for me….sear sucker for him) for our friend’s Kentucky Derby party.  Since bourbon is a drink of choice for the races I decided to make Bourbon Slush.  This is by far one of my favorite summer time drinks.  Its super easy to make and delicious!  Even if you aren’t a big bourbon drinker…you will be sure to like this drink!

Sorry for the minimal pictures….but there wasn’t much preparation other than mixing the ingredients.  You want to make sure you make this atleast 24 hours in advance so the slush has plenty of time freeze.

What you’ll need for bourbon slush:

1 can frozen lemonade

1 can frozen orange juice

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

5 cups water

4-6 tea bags

2 cups Bourbon (or more if you prefer)

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Put two cups of water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling add your tea bags.  I got the large tea bags by accident, so I just did three of them.  If you have normal sized tea bags, I would do 5-6 bags.  The goal is to make very STRONG tea.

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Let the tea steep for about five minutes.  Then, remove the tea bags.  While the mixture is still warm add the 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved.

 

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Add the frozen lemonade, orange juice, tea, bourbon and 5 cups of water into your container.  Mix together well.  Place in the freezer and freeze for at least 24 hours.

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Spoon the slush into a mason jar.  Top it off with some 7-up (optional).  Perfect refreshment on a hot summer day!

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Shrimp is What’s for Dinner


On my drive home from work the other day I happened to hear an advertisement for shrimp at Whole Food’s for $7.99/lb.  I was super excited because LJ had been requesting shrimp for dinner the past couple weeks….but I was less than happy to pay $14.99/lb.  Not only were these on sale….they were caught in North Carolina ….score!  I also decided to spoil myself with some tulips.  I LOVE the Virginia grown tulips there!

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With our parents living in Wilmington, NC and vacationing at multiple North Carolina beaches. …..crabs and shrimp quickly became a frequent (favorite) dinner when we’re home.  So, I thought I’d share with you how we steam shrimp.  The recipe comes from Old Bay.

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Also pictured: Ketchup and horseradish for cocktail sauce…..and of course corn bread mix. Jiffy cornbread muffins are a MUST when we have shrimp for dinner 🙂

Here’s What You’ll Need:

2 Tablespoons Old Bay

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1-2 pounds of shrimp (double above recipe if you have more)

Mix all of the ingredients together, then bring the mixture to a boil.

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Once it’s boiling add the shrimp.

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Cover the pot and let the shrimp steam for 3-5 minutes.  I think mine were ready about 4 minutes.  Pay attention to your shrimp….the worst thing you could do is over cook them!  Rubbery shrimp are definitely NOT appetizing!

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Once they are a gorgeous pink color, pour them into a strainer in the sink.  Cover with ice to cool the shrimp and prevent them from cooking further.

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shrimp 007While your shrimp are cooling….don’t forget to make the cocktail sauce (horseradish + ketchup, keep adding horseradish to your desired spiciness level)!

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Finally it is time to sit down and enjoy!  Super easy dinner and they are delicious!

Megan and Matt left yesterday for 10 days in Ireland ( I am beyond jealous!)  LJ and I have  friends that are throwing a Kentucky Derby party tomorrow.  I am planning to make a delicious Bourbon Slush.  Stay tuned for the recipe!  What fun things are you doing this weekend?

Ginnie’s Pound Cake


I’ve had a couple days off from work and it has been absolutely WONDERFUL being able to get some things done around the house.  I was hoping to get some herbs planted but boy has it been hot!  It has been in the 90’s here the past two days!  I may save the gardening for another weekend when it is a little bit cooler.

Instead of gardening I attempted to make one of my absolute favorite cakes.  Ginnie’s Pound Cake.  Ginnie was our great-grandmother on my mother’s side.  She lived in a small town in southern Virginia.  She would often re-pay people who did odd jobs for her in food because her baking was THAT good.  My mom and aunt Susan have made it a couple times.  While it was good, it just wasn’t the same as when Ginnie would make it growing up.  But as they say…practice makes perfect.  So hopefully one day I will be able to perfect her recipe!

What you’ll need for Ginnie’s Pound Cake:

1 cup Butter (2 sticks)

1/2 c Crisco (enough to grease your pan, or use a nonstick baking spray)

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup cake flour (measure after sifting)

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon extract

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The first thing you want to do is measure out your “wet” and “dry” ingredients.  Measure out 1 cup of milk.  Place in bowl.  Add 1 tsp of vanilla and lemon extract to milk and mix well.  Set this mixture aside.  Next you want to sift 2 cups of all purpose flour.  Re-measure after sifting (you will find you have some left over) and place in another bowl.  Do the same thing with 1 cup of cake flour.  Add 1 tsp of baking powder to flour mixture.  Set this aside.

Now begin mixing your butter until it is smooth.  It is important to make sure your butter is a room temperature so it will cream better.  Slowly add the sugar 1 cup at a time.  Make sure the previous cup is mixed well before adding the next cup.

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Once your mixture is creamed well with no lumps you want to add the 6 eggs.  Add only 1 egg at a time, making sure the egg is thoroughly mixed before adding the next egg.

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Now gradually add your flour and milk mixture.  You want to alternate adding each.  Begin AND end with the flour mixture.  Once you’ve added the flour and milk mixtures you should end up with a nice and creamy batter.

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Pour your batter into your greased tube pan.

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Bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees. DO NOT open the oven during the hour of baking.

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I think Ginnie would be proud of my first attempt at her pound cake.  LJ and I had some at breakfast this morning with a cup of coffee.  It was delicious!  Don’t worry…..I’m going to the gym later 😉

Have a great weekend everyone!

Warmer Weather Means Cookouts with Friends


Good Morning Everyone!

I hope you are having a lovely Sunday morning.  It has been gorgeous here this weekend with the weather finally reaching the 60’s and hopefully 70’s today!  LJ and my weekend has been packed with cookouts and friends.  Yesterday we went to a housewarming cookout at our old neighbor’s house in Leesburg, Va.  Their new home is absolutely gorgeous!

Of course I couldn’t show up to the cookout empty handed, so I started digging through my recipe box and decided on hash brown casserole.  This is a popular side dish that can be found at all family gatherings usually made by our aunt Susan.  She definitely makes it the best!

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What you’ll need:

1 pkt Hash browns (from the frozen section, I think mine was 2 pounds?)

1 pint sour cream (or plain nonfat greek yogurt if you want to cut some calories–taste just as good!)

1 cup cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium onion diced

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 cup butter

1 cup corn flakes (I think I ended up adding a tad more.  You just need enough to cover the casserole)

Print Recipe

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Dice the onion and place in a large bowl.  Add all other ingredients except the cornflakes and butter.

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This is why you need a LARGE bowl.  It’s a lot of stuff to mix together.  Mix until the hash browns are coated evenly.

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Transfer the mixture to a greased Pyrex glass dish.  Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

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Just before the 40 minutes are up, melt your butter and mix it with the corn flakes.  Remove the casserole from the oven and spread corn flake mixture on top.  Bake for another 20 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and let it cool before serving.  It was definitely a huge hit at the cookout!  We are off to our second cook out of the weekend. What fun things to do you have going on this weekend??

Mindie, Ryanne, and Nicole

Mindy, Ryanne, and Nicole

Deviled Eggs


I recently read an article in a magazine that said no covered dish party is complete in the south…..without deviled eggs.  That could not be more true!  Whether it be a family get together, Easter, or football tailgates, deviled eggs always made an appearance.   Both of my grandmothers both made delicious deviled eggs.  My maternal grandmother made them with mayo and pickles and my paternal grandmother made them with pickles and pickle juice.  My mom and I (unfortunately) couldn’t put our hands on either of their recipes (they more than likely just made it up in their heads), so I decided to try out a this deviled egg recipe from southern living.

I think the hardest part of making them in my opinion is hard boiling the eggs.  Its always a little discouraging when you think you’ve cooked your eggs perfectly and you slice them open and they are either way over cooked with a green line around the yolk or way under cooked.  While flipping through southern living I found this gem of an article explaining the perfect way to hard boil an egg.  The perfect article to find around Easter!

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(No that is not my icing covered fingers to the right….it is the opposite side of the magazine 🙂 )

What you’ll need for the deviled Eggs:

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Recipe

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 teaspoon prepared mustard (yes, all I had was spicy…so I didn’t use as much, but with the sweet relish it tasted good!)

salt and pepper to taste

-First place your 6 eggs into a saucepan.  Add water until the eggs are completely covered.  Place on the stove and bring to a slow simmer.

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Once the water has come to a very slow simmer (if they simmer too much they can crack) set your timer for 10 minutes.  Keep the water going a consistent simmer until the 10 minutes are up.  Drain and run cool water over the eggs until they are cool to touch.  Crack the eggs and start peeling.  Once they are peeled slice length-way.

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I was pretty happy with how my eggs turned out.  They were maybe slightly under cooked in the center….but overall I was happy with the finished product!

After all of the eggs have been halved, removed the yolks and place in a bowl.  With a fork mash the yolk, mayonnaise, mustard, sweet relish, salt and pepper together.  Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites.   Garnish with paprika.

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Happy Easter everyone!

Starfish Mirror


Hello Friends,

Sorry I have been MIA, but I have been busy working, training for the Quintiles half marathon in Wilmington, and house hunting!

I did make some time to work on a DIY mirror project.  I saw a picture of this mirror on the lovely pinterest.  I thought this would be the perfect project for this gorgeous, old, wooden mirror I acquired from my paternal grandparents.  Another added bonus was that I have TONS of starfish leftover from our wedding.

Old Mirror

left over starfish

I was deciding whether to paint the mirror white or a light blue.  I decided to stick with white since most of the mirror would be covered in starfish.  Since the mirror was made of a finished wood I had to sand, prime, and paint it.  This is a great guide to re-finishing any wooden furniture.  Here is what you’ll need:

supplies

1. Sheet sand paper (100-medium coarse)

2. Extra fine sanding sponge

3. Primer

4. Paint brushes

5. Glossy latex paint

6. Painters tape

First take your medium sheet sandpaper and start sanding.  If you are re-finishing any other piece of furniture larger than this mirror–I HIGHLY suggest investing in an electric sander.  My hand started cramping QUICKLY.  Sand the piece of furniture until the finish on the wood is removed.

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The creases were not easy to sand!  Once you are finished sanding most of the finish off take your extra fine sander to smooth out the wood.  Once you are finished sanding make sure you wipe down or vacuum your piece of furniture.  Do not use a wet rag because you want to keep the furniture dry.  Line the mirror area with painters tape.

tape the mirror

I decided to prop my mirror on some of LJ’s Raven’s koozies to make it easier to paint on the sides!

koozies

Next you want to apply a coat of primer.

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Once this has completely dried apply the latex gloss.  I ended up doing two coats.

mirror finished

mirror finished 2

Once the mirror has dried you can remove the tape.  I have been playing around with how I am going to arrange the starfish.  I need a couple more, so I am getting the rest of them when I go down to Wilmington for the race this weekend.  I will post the finished product when I’m done 🙂

What fun DIY projects have you been working on???  Have a great weekend!!

Black beans…..in my brownies?


Good afternoon friends!

Molly and I had a girls night last night.  LJ was away for work, so our night consisted of painting nails, watching, TV, and chewing on bones (more Molly than me).   After dinner I started craving something sweet.  While LJ craves salty things such as chips…..my weakness is sweets.  I blame this on my mom, grandmothers and great grand-mother always making delicious baked goods!

My craving came just in time…..because I happened to have all the ingredients for black bean brownies AND I hadn’t done a blog post in awhile (Sorry).  This recipe came from another food blog and was introduced to me by one of my friends.  When I first made them I was curious as to whether they would taste good or not and if they’d end up with a weird texture…..but they really are DELICIOUS!  Even LJ liked them!  This is the perfect way to sneak in some fiber, protein, and make your brownies low-fat!  I actually made them at our super bowl party last year.  I didn’t tell our guests what was in them until the end of the night.  They were definitely a hit!

What you’ll need:

Print Recipe Here

Blender

15.5 oz can black beans ( your normal can)

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk chocolate (or dark chocolate) chips.  These are not pictured because I didn’t have any.  But they are delicious in the brownies….so I recommend adding them!

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First pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray square brownie pan with non-stick spray and set aside.  Make sure you rinse the black beans VERY well.

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Combine everything in blender except the chocolate chips.

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Blend together until smooth.  You may need to use a spatula to scrape the sides.

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Pour batter into pan, sprinkle chocolate chips on top and bake for 30-32 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.

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Enjoy!!!

Wedding Recap: The Reception


Good afternoon friends!  This post will be the last of my wedding recaps.  Be sure to check out the rehearsal dinner and ceremony recaps!

After our beach ceremony, guests headed to Lumina Hall for a cocktail hour.  While the cocktail hour was going on the wedding party had fun getting pictures at the beach!

Wedding Part

bench picture

beach pic

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We walked across the street and got some pictures on an old dock overlooking the sound.

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After taking TONS of pictures the wedding party headed to the reception to join the rest of our guests.  You could find your name card attached to a white starfish.  Megan and I  filled old drawers with sand and placed the name cards in the sand.

name cards

The wedding couldn’t be complete without pictures of LJ and I at the beach when we were younger.  If you look closely you can see our very loved stuffed animals.

kid picture

Some centerpieces were glass hurricanes with candles and surrounding seashells.  Others were tall vases with curly willow branches and white orchids.

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My custom table numbers turned out perfect!  (Check out my DIY wedding table numbers)

custom table numbers

My mom and florist (June) created the centerpiece at the head table as a surprise.  I absolutely loved the incorporation of my mom’s hand made pottery, fruits and vegetables.  I am a dietitian after all!!!

head table

For our guestbook we asked friends and family to sign their favorite “sea creature”.  We plan to get our poster framed to hang in our home.guest book

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432LJ’s mom made us champagne glasses for the reception.  I absolutely LOVED them!

cake…..and then the real party started!  The Charlie Band were great and TONS of fun!!

The bandThey even got the Floyd and Ulrich’s to sing “shout”

shout502Our night ended way too quickly

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My new husband surprised me with a sweet ride to our hotel room……a Rolls-Royce.

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…And the last surprise were these awesome sparkler pictures my bridesmaids did.  We were beyond blessed to have so many wonderful people surrounding us on the special day!

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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

Bridesmaids

Sister’s pictureMeg and I Ryanne Ryanne2

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

Family

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
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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!

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

Family

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

Robin

LJ with his grandparents Dick and Faye Hasz

grandparents

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!
Dinner

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!