Life Lately | Fall Festivities
Hello and happy Monday! (Again, I keep saying that...but is it an oxymoron?) I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and are just as ecstatic as I am that Thanksgiving is in just ten days! It's hard to believe we're that deep into fall already! Before we officially round the corner into winter and the holidays, I want to share some of our fall goings on. It's been awhile since I did a Life Lately post so curl up with that essential Monday morning coffee and walk down a couple month's worth of memory lane with me!
HARLOW'S FIRST BEACH TRIP
Two months ago, we traveled down to Hilton Head for the annual Flaherty family vacation. Having never taken Harlow to the beach before, we were pretty excited to see her reaction to sand, sea, and surf. The girl got into vacation mode real quick!
Our house had a pool and Harlow LOVED it! Watching her gleefully splash around was like a hug to my heart.
Here it is! Harlow's first time digging her toes into sand! She liked it...until the waves came rushing towards her! Then she went into panic mode. It was sooo endearingly pitiful! Mike eased her out into the water a little further; as long as she could just watch the waves she was fine. But the minute you tried to put her in it? No ma'am Pam.
Ominous clouds: bad for a beach day, great for dramatic photos.
On our last day, we rented bikes to ride down to South Beach where the famous Salty Dog is located. Harlow and I both share the opinion that this was our favorite day/activity. We hooked up a Go Pro to the back of Mike's bike to record her reactions and she was all smiles! She enjoyed the ride and the scenery so much! Hilton Head's paved bike paths are one of the best parts about vacationing there.
Harlow meets a scarlet macaw parrot.
I'll take the cheerio entree with a side of applesauce, please!
ADDISON FARMS PHOTO SHOOT
Mike, Harlow, and I took our first trip to Addison Farms to participate in a promotional photo shoot for the vineyard. The views were mesmerizing! The whole experience was amazing. Sipping chilled wine on a cool evening in a rocking chair while the crickets softly hummed...the life. I included lots of details and photos from our trip in this post.
FOOTBALL SATURDAYS + SUNDAYS
We loooooove us some football in the Williams household! Unfortunately, Mike and I root for different teams on both the collegiate and professional levels, which means that not only are our allegiances divided but that Harlow's wardrobe switches back and forth between red and blue quicker than Sleeping Beauty's ball gown. She's a good sport, though!
Mike and I put firm rules in place when we first started dating regarding our House Divided. I went to UNC and he went to NC State. Needless to say, neither of us are eager to wear the other's colors and we don't expect each other to. However, we gladly bend the rules on Sundays. I'm a Cowboys fan and he's a dirty bird Atlanta Falcon. Our teams aren't natural rivals, so as long as we're not playing each other, we're happy to root for one another. We've had some fun dressing the part this season with little Miss in her tiny jerseys.
If I'm watching football and having a drink, it's gotta be bourbon or beer. It's just the rules. My go-to flavor this fall has been porters and stouts. My favorites are the Foothills People's Porter, Asheville Brewing Co.'s Ninja Porter, Highland Brewery's Black Mocha Stout, and Sierra Nevada's Stout. So cool that they're all brewed here in Asheville or in the state of North Carolina!
COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND | HURRICANE MATTHEW EVACUCATION
A silver lining to South Carolina's evacuation ahead of Hurricane Matthew was getting to see some dear friends who came up to Asheville to wait out the storm. We met up at The Bywater to drink a beer while our gaggle of children ran out some pent up energy. Good times were had by all, though tamer than they once were. When a photo bomb consists of the hand motions for 'Itsy Bity Spider' you know you're in a different time in life LOL!
Mike's mom came up to visit us for the long weekend and we took her to some of our favorite places, starting with Tupelo Honey and ending back at The Bywater. We spent a gorgeous Sunday afternoon having lunch at Buxton Hall, sampling beers at Catawba Brewery, then popping down the street for our first visit to Green Man Brewery.
A wall meant for Instagram.
GIRLBOSS ASHEVILLE @ ENGAGED
I'm SO excited to be part of the local Girl Boss group started by Kara Candler of Tick Tock Concierge. Basically, if you're a woman who's kicking ass at life in your own beautiful way, and you live in Asheville, then you're a perfect fit for our growing community. If you'd like me to add you to the Facebook page so you can find out about upcoming events (wine, light bites, good conversation with great ladies), let me know!
We hosted our October event at the Engaged headquarters in Reynolds Village. Not only are most of the Engaged members fierce girl bosses in their own right, but we all believe in community and collaboration at our very core -- which makes a Girl Boss event such a good fit!
Before I headed to the event, I had to take a picture with a Girl Boss of tomorrow!
With so many amazing vendors on hand, Engaged threw a beautiful event with delectable treats and delightful decor. Thanks to Kathy Beaver Photography for capturing all the fun!
One of my favorite details was this vintage mirror with calligraphy by Joy Unscripted. I loved all the gold decor and candles from Mingle Events and Rentals set off by pops of floral color from Spring Vine Design.
Ruth & Ranshaw satisfied everyone's sweet tooth with cupcakes, cookies, and gold macarons. Not yellow. Gold. I had to have one (okay, two) for obvious reasons. Of course, you may remember the moment I had on my Instagram stories freaking out over these glittery strawberries from Catering by Corey. Big things are happening on the dessert menus these days!
Lots of awesome mingling and connecting going on here...
All the Engaged members in attendance gave a quick spiel on their 'who I am's' and 'what I do's.' I don't love public speaking (who does?) and I've found trying to explain my multifaceted blogging/styling business is quite the mouthful. Somehow I muddled through it and rewarded myself with a glass of One Hope Chardonnay. I'd seen that line of wines on social media but had never tried any of them. They're quite good!
Girl (Bosses) just wanna have fun in The Bus Booth!
LET IT SNOW
I'm still covered in goosebumps from the day we spent shooting Christmas photos in the snow. I wanted memorable. I got magical. I will cherish these forever! Huge thanks to Anastasiia Photography for the experience and photos of a lifetime.
I should also thank Anastasiia for letting me sneak in two different looks instead of just the one. I could not decide between the two! I loved the Gap ad vibe of the casual, bundled-up look, but I was also verrrrry committed to the babushka hat. And to a dressed up look that I feel is overwhelmingly underrepresented more and more (it's not always all about jeans, people!).
As a stylist, I've worked with families planning their outfits for professional photos and it's so much fun! I love it. I guess this is going to sound like a shameless plug, but most people don't realize that family photo styling is a service that I offer. If that's something you're interested in, please reach out!
Both cocktail and casual outfit details here.
WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!
Yep! That just happened! We're SO excited, I can't even tell you! I'm going to go ahead and admit that near the top of my list of reasons I'm excited to move is "don't have to walk the dogs and push a stroller at the same time everyday anymore." Of course above that is moving into a home to raise Harlow in. A home with a backyard for her to run around in barefoot in the grass. A home with a fireplace to hang stockings on and to cuddle around on cold, snowy evenings. A home with enough room for play kitchens and battery-operated cars.
We've got us an ol' fashioned home makeover project, already two weeks in to remodeling. You can see the initial 'before' pics here. The nasty baby poop yellow '70s bathroom pics are worth the click alone.
On the day we closed, I felt like dressing up a little for the occasion. I just bought this awesome Equipment blouse from the last consignment sale at Bette in Biltmore Village. Leslie, a fellow certified personal stylist, curates the entire sale from her clients' closets and there are so many gems to be found. And you can't beat the prices! My girlfriend Lindsey picked up a gorgeous jewel tone DVF blouse that day, too. Be sure to check them out the next time the hold one of these sales! They always post the dates on their Facebook page.
Celebratory drinks at Grove Park Inn!
GIRLS NIGHT OUT
Guys. I went out. At night. With other women. AND, we got drinks and weren't home before 10 PM. What is this life?! Seriously, I had the best time meeting girlfriends old and new out at MG Road on Wall Street downtown. I don't mean to over sell it, but their Chicken 65 rivals Chick-fil-A's nuggets. They're that good. Even better washed down with a Pineapple Margarita or two.
GNO gives me the sassy feels, so I wore this split-back knit top I just got on sale from Nordstrom with my new T&T necklace. Ub-sessed. I decided to invest in the necklace because it's such a fun way to spice up basic tops and sweaters, and it goes from day to night super easily. The top runs true to size - I got a small. For rag & bone, it's a great price!
HARLOW'S FIRST FOOTBALL GAME
The first weekend in November, we headed east to Chapel Hill for UNC's Homecoming weekend. Friday night, I attended a reception at the journalism school showcasing a new curriculum merging fashion and emerging technologies. Pretty much every alum in attendance said "I wish this had been an option when I was in school!" It was awesome meeting current students, learning about their ideas, and sharing some of my own experiences. I've always been a proud UNC alum, never more so than being back on campus surrounded by the best and brightest minds of the future!
On Saturday we donned our colors and packed our koozies for the football game against Georgia Tech. Harlow wore her favorite blue hoodie.
Mike's dad, a Georgia Tech grad, left no doubt to his allegiance. His bright yellow attire made him easy to pick out in a sea of blue.
We sat in the Blue Zone Concourse Club for the first time and I'm ruined forever. It's amazing. If you have a baby and/or a toddler, this is where you need to be. It's the only place in the stadium that allows strollers...there's even a stroller parking area. Family restrooms kept diaper changes clean and convenient. Giant coolers filled with Dasani made filling Harlow's bottle and sippy cup a cinch. It's also the one place in Kenan you can buy a beer or glass of wine, and for only $5! All the food, NA beverages, dessert, and popcorn you can eat is included in your ticket. We could spread out and let Harlow play and eat, then go to our seats in the bowl when we were ready.
I've been going to football games in Kenan Stadium since I was eight years old, and I've always loved being in the thick of things. But, my life is different now and the Blue Zone made taking an infant to a football game as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Best of all, the Tar Heels won!
Before we went home on Sunday, we drove over to Pittsboro to have dinner (lunch, in the South) with my mom's side of the family, including Harlow's great grandfather. How sweet are these photos of Papa as a little boy? His mama, my Nanny, was the definition of the genteel southern woman. Kind and courteous, sweet as pecan pie, and could cook her tail off.
THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE
Some heartwarming highlights from the thousands of photos I snap of Harlow James on the reg...
Out for a stroll in some of my new fall fashions...
Happy Harloweems! (Did you hear it?)
Casting our first vote seventeen years five weeks early!
Early crawling shenanigans
I feel pretty, oh so pretty....
Bad to the bone
Nothing but heart eyes between Harlow and her boyfriend Eli!
I hope you've all enjoyed a beautiful, festive fall! Wishing you a happy, wonderful week ahead!