Friday, August 30, 2013

look whoooo's expecting - Carla's shower

As you (probably) know, there's not much more I love than throwing a party. It doesn't matter if the party is a bachelorette weekend, retirement banquet or baby shower, I love them all. The decorating, the crafting, the planning and the happiness involved with celebrating someone (or something) just really tickles my pickle

Well, I finally got around to uploading my pictures from my cousin Carla's baby shower last night (even though the shower was two weeks ago, oops). Carla wanted an owl-themed shower but with no pink so I went with turquoise, purple and lime. Here are some of the shots from her owl-themed shower for Little Miss Baker (whose name we still don't know).

the car all packed up to go to the church
Me and Carla
all the ladies at church who helped with the shower

table and my favorite little area
little pom-pom owls and some tissue paper garland (my favorite party decoration lately) 

how cute is this cake!?

the Webb's Chapel ladies know how to cook some shower food.

Aunt Pam (Carla's mom) made this precious little baby carriage fruit bowl
that's going to be one spoiled baby...
I was so happy to help celebrate Carla and Baby B and can hardly wait to meet the little munchkin (who is due on my birthday, Sept 27!) and finally learn her name!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

retail hell.

I had the displeasure of working in retail while I was in college for two different stores - one a big brand store that is operated by an even bigger brand that owns about three other stores and the other a local boutique. Both were the worst jobs I've ever had. Don't get me wrong here, I appreciate you great retail sales people, but it is not something I was good at. 

My freshman year of college at UNC-W I worked in the big brand store in the mall, I'll call it "Hell 1". I was hired at Hell 1 as holiday help around October and thought, this will be great, I get a 30% discount on these clothes that I actually like, I don't have to sit at a desk all day and I get to see new clothes as they're coming out. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. 

let's just say it was one of these...

I was told I had to push credit cards on people (that had a crazy high interest rate) and that if I couldn't make people sign up for cards, I would not get any hours. I was told to "not to take 'no' for an answer until they're refused you 3 times". My manager taught me to push the credit cards while the customer is walking around the store looking for their purchases (while also stalking them to be sure they don't steal), push the credit card while they're are in the dressing room (along with other merchandise "to match" the clothes they're trying on) and push it at the register (along with the earrings, bracelet and whatever other thing we have in the little bins by the register). It was horrible.

The next best thing about Hell 1 was watching people steal. I was appalled at the way some of these women would just waltz right into the store with another shopping bag, bite off a sensor and stick the merchandise into the bag while stashing the bitten off sensor into another shirt or pants still hanging up. I also got to witness a woman pushing an empty stroller into the store and wrap clothes up inside the "baby" blanket to hide them before walking out of the store (this particular lady wasn't smart enough to bite off the sensor first, she got super busted). 

But the absolute best part of Hell 1? Being told to pay more attention to the "ideal customer" - which I was told is between the ages of 16 and 30, a size 2 to 6 and "looks like they could afford to actually buy stuff". Being a size 8 myself in college, I was more than just a little insulted by their idea of what the average Hell 1 customer should look like. 

I was asked to stay on at Hell 1 after the holidays but I politely said "h to the no" and swore to never wear all black outfits or buy jeans from that store EVER again.

My sophomore year in college when I transferred to ECU (best decision ever), I started working at a local boutique, which I'll call "Hell 2". This particular boutique was a pretty big deal in Greenville, it sold decals, jewelry, purses, monogrammed things, house wear items, shoes, clothes, candles... you name it, Hell 2 probably had it. 

But it also had a straight-up crazy owner. 

this crazy boss had NOTHING on Hell 2's owner
(also, if you don't know who this woman is, you need to watch "The Hills", "The City" and "Kell on Earth"

She'd assign us each tasks to do for the day while we were working the sales floor. She'd call them "projects". They'd range from "make a new display with the pewter serving ware" to "color these little pumpkins to make them look like coupons for next week's fall sale". You needed to have your project done by the end of the day, but you couldn't shirk your sales area to do the project, make a mess while trying to accomplish your project NOR could you do the project in front of customers

And no matter how you did the project, it was wrong. It doesn't matter if you asked the owner very specific questions about how to do it right or did it exactly like the sample she made first, it was still wrong

I also got the chance to witness her take clothes SHE HAD WORN and put tags on them then stick them back out to be sold. They would still smell like her perfume and have her dogs hair stuck to them. 

My favorite moment at Hell 2 was when one of my co-workers cut her finger while trying to hang up a Christmas wreath on the wall. The girl practically sliced her finger in half and needed stitches, the owner wouldn't let her leave. There my co-worker sat with blood dripping on the floor and she decided she had enough. She grabbed her purse, clocked out and peaced out. Never came back. I should have followed her. 

I lasted at Hell 2 for almost 6 months until I found a job as a receptionist for a doctor's office, but that's a story for another day....

What was your worst job?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

my husband's shirts

it doesn't matter how many nightgowns, pajamas or t-shirts I buy, my husband's big cotton t-shirts are my favorite things to wear to bed and around the house (with leggings of course). 

Josh's t-shirt drawer

And it is always the same ones, his "Team>Me" basketball t-shirt from high school (which doubled as a pillow case for me my freshman year at UNC-W) and his white "win or loose, we still booze" shirt he randomly bought form a guy at a tailgate one time. 

I don't know why I love them so much, even though they are probably the least flattering thing I wear around the house.

I think it's the fact that no matter how many times I wash them, they only get softer and somehow smell more like Josh.

Or maybe it's because they're too big for me, a problem I usually have the opposite of when it comes to clothes. I feel small and protected in his t-shirts, like I can just wrap myself in them and everything will be okay.  I don't have to pull at the edges and make sure the shirt is long enough to cover that top part of my legs I don't like or make sure it's not sticking too all the wrong parts of my stomach. 

Or maybe it's just because they're Josh's. Because if feels good to know that I can pull one of his t-shirts out of his dresser in our room and wear it. 

No matter the reason, putting on one of his t-shirts after a long day at work and throwing one on when I climb out of the shower at night always makes me feel at home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

poker with my mema

Yesterday was my Mema Kay's birthday. If you've visited my blog before you've read about my Mema, who died 6 weeks before my wedding (if not you can read about her here). But a story I've yet to tell is how my Mema Kay taught me to gamble.

a grainy shot, but one of the last pics I have of all of us with Mema, taken at a celebration dinner after me and Josh's engagement.

You see, Mema & Papa were avid Las Vegas-ers and loved a good hand of cards. Mema would come home from trips and bring me the little coins she hadn't cashed or tell me all about the shows, new video-style slot machines & games and the crazy stuff she saw people wearing on the strip (you know, standard conversation for a kid and her grandma).

Kay Harrell, rockin' the romper  and big sunglasses before it was even cool again... back in 1990 and looking hot at 55.

In the summers when I was younger, I either stayed at my Mema Dean's or my Mema Kay & Papa Dude's house during the day while my folks were at work. And when I wasn't playing in my own personal kingdom in Mema & Papa's yard (read about that here), I was playing poker with Mema.

We'd play Blackjack, or Texas Hold 'Em or Five Card Draw, I'm probably one of very few kids that knew a Full House in cards was even better than the TV show, at the tender age of 6. I learned to count money from playing poker with Mema and could bluff with the best of them. So when everyone got into playing in card tournaments or striking up a game of Texas Hold 'Em at a party in college and high school, I was ready to go, all thanks to my Mema Kay.

The best part of playing poker with Mema? She cheated.  And when I finally caught on to her taking cards from the other deck of cards she had in her lap, she wasn't even sorry. She said that the biggest lesson in life and poker is to learn people's tricks and call them on it.

Words of wisdom from Kay Barnes Harrell, my Mema Kay and the best cheater with no shame that there ever was.

me, mema and papa after my high school graduation

Friday, August 23, 2013

cutest country couple

Can we just talk about this couple for a minute?


Whether you like country music or not, or whether your Team Blake during The Voice or Team Somebody Else, it is hard not to fall in love with their love.

Josh & I first saw Miranda and Blake sing together one night while watching a show about country's greatest duets. At the time Blake Shelton was still married and Miranda was fairly new, but their chemistry while singing "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" was just undeniable. We sat there watching the show and said "they're going to end up together".

I love to watch them together, whether it's watching them accepting awards for the beautiful song "Over You" that they wrote together about Blake's brother that passed away.....

....or watching them be silly together.


And it's not just Miranda that I love (although I JAM OUT to the Pistol Annies) Josh and I had the pleasure of watching Blake in concert two weeks ago and he was truly hilarious (not to mention an amazing performer).

He just seems like a good guy, and yes he has a potty mouth and once rocked the best mullet ever (well, second-best to ole Billy Ray), but I adore him and his hot wifey.

sweet haircut homie.

Do you have a favorite celebrity couple?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

morning madness.

I have a 27 minute drive to work and before that a good 45 (or closer to 20 when I over sleep…) minutes of getting ready for work while everyone else is sleeping. So what happens when I have that much time alone in my head… a lot of dumb thoughts.

5:30am – where is that stupid phone? Ah, there it is… now where is the snooze option…
5:45am – has it already been 15 minutes? I don’t really have to get up now, I mean the guys don’t care how I look and I can wear my hair in a messy bun or something.
6:00am – I guess I should really get up… otherwise I will not only have a messy head but an un-made-up face too
6:15am – why does everything seem brighter and louder in the morning?
6:20am - Okay makeup that won’t last past the sweatiness of 11am, check. Teeth brushed, check. Clothes on, check. Now to attack this rat’s nest on my head.
6:22am – I should be almost out the door right now, not adding another layer of baby powder to this oily hair..
6:23am – Is it already that late!?! Guess I will be grabbing one of Sawyer’s Go-Gurts for breakfast…
6:25am – I love this car, but I always forget to put my foot on the brake to hit that nifty start button.
6:27am – What am I going to listen to on this drive? Ohhh I forgot I had downloaded “The Best of Ja-Rule” so obviously that’s it.
6:30am – “like that stormy night you wrote a dear Ja letter took my benz keys and cut the letter b…” wait how do I remember these lyrics?
6:30am – Whatever happened to ole Ja?
6:33am – Man, why is everyone so slow, don’t they know I need to get to work?
6:34am – ahhh, cop cop cop. Don’t pull me. Don’t pull me. Don’t pull me. Jesus, I promise not to ever speed again if this copper doesn’t pull me.
6:36am – praise baby jesus.
6:37am 6:40am – hardcore rapping
6:45am – Lauren, stop looking at that BoJangles, you had the yogurt, you DO NOT need a Biscuit.
6:47am – it would be so good though…
6:50am – this line has got to move quick, I’m running way too behind to wait for 6 other people to get their BoJangles too…
6:53am – when that chick said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, she has obviously never had BoJangles…
6:55am – I should blog about how awesome BoJangles is…
6:58am – alright I’m four miles from the office, but that’s basically 2 minutes later right?
7:00am – my clock is like two minutes fast anyway…..

 What do you think about in the mornings during your drive to work?

And because no post is complete without a picture... 
you've got to be pretty G to pull off mickey ears and a gang sign at the same time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

i drove it home.

so yesterday, Josh, Sawyer and I went to the local Jeep dealership where Josh and his parents have always bought their Jeeps from to just "take a look" at a nice used Jeep Grand Cherokee... four hours later I drove it home

I can't even explain how surprised I was when I was handed the keys to this thing. I am convinced that car salesmen are magical creatures who distract you with hats and bunnies in the shape of complimentary water and snacks then BAM you just signed your life away for a vehicle. 

look deeeeep into my screen, when I count backwards from 3 you will want to buy me....
Although we really lucked out since the payments on the Jeep are almost the exact same as my Escape and the Jeep is LOADED with a nav system, one of those push button ignition things and a magical door handle that unlocks when I touch it. My favorite feature is that my key fob thing now has a remote start so on those cold mornings when I head to work at 6:20am, I can start the car from inside the house when I'm in the last steps of getting ready and it will be all toasty and warm once I get inside (not to mention heated seats, yay!). It also has rear cameras that will help the whole "backing into my husband's jeep in the driveway" thing...

this can now be PREVENTED thanks to a back up camera.... hopefully.
AND it has SO much more room which was our main concern with the Escape (since we bought it in 2010 with NO PLANS of having a baby, then oops had one the next year). Now we can sit in the back comfortably with a car seat and still have room for stuff in the giant trunk space in the back

So, I am pumped. Even though I looked like a HOT mess at the dealership (i went straight from work so picture me in a Duck-Rabbit t-shirt, dirty jeans and toms with my hair in a messy bun that was a lot more messy than bun) and Sawyer through about a million fits inside the place. I am glad we were able to trade in my Escape while it still had some value left since the miles were getting on up there and let's be honest, the back of that thing looked terrible from hitting Josh's Jeep. 

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? What kind of cars are you looking at?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

a boy and his dog.

I was a little worried when we brought Sawyer home from the hospital back in Feb. 2011, that Sookie would be jealous or resent him for taking up some of her play time with us, but I was so wrong to fret because they have grown into the best of friends. 


.... and now
as you can see, they share a talent for not looking at the camera as well...
They tag team us some times and create some mischief, like when Sookie whines in the laundry room only because she knows Sawyer is in the kitchen and will get her a bone if he hears her "crying" (while she knows me and Josh will just kindly remind her that she already had two bones that day already).

They also fight like brother and sister, like last night when we were jumping in puddles after the rain storm and Sookie decided she too wanted an angry birds towel and stole Sawyer's off the steps. Sawyer through a fit and when he tried to get it back she knocked him right down in the mud and ran away with the towel.

I am so happy that Sawyer has Sookie to play with and learn from.She has taught him how to love, not be afraid of other dogs and share (although that is something she needs to learn how to do more herself)

Read more about Sookie and Sawyer from this post when Sookie visited the blog, or read this post about when Sookie met Sawyer for the first time. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

grow town grow!

I am so proud of our town, and even more proud of my amazing husband and all he has done and is trying to do for Tarboro.

As the planning director, Josh is supposed to foster growth in local businesses and also help bring new businesses to the area. Through grants and other community foundations, so much has already happened to breathe more life into our downtown area since Josh began his new position in September 2012.

But the most exciting thing that is coming our way is the Tarboro Brewing Company.

Two local restaurateurs who are extraordinarily involved in many aspects of our community are working with some investors and Josh to restore an old corner service station to start a local brewery with a tap room and great event space. Their restaurant, On the Square, is absolutely delicious and has become the place to eat (you should stop in if you’re ever near the area!), so I can only imagine how successful the brewery will be! I am so proud also of how our community has rallied behind the idea (read the article from our local paper about the brewery here)!

View the video below to hear about Tarboro Brewing Company and visit this link for more information or to make a donation!

Some more local citizens were inspired by the story of the coming brewery and purchased a restaurant that closed in 2011 with hopes of creating the Edgecombe Events Center (read the article from our local paper here). Since the restaurant has a large ballroom space in the back, it will be perfect for receptions, meetings and other events. I, of course, am most excited about this venture because I am hoping they’ll maybe need an events coordinator whenever they get up off the ground (after all, my dream is to some day own my very own venue space).
the old restaurant, soon-to-be events center

Other exciting businesses coming our way are Hibbett Sports and Walgreens! Here’s hoping that our town will continue to blossom and that Josh will help keep our downtown growing and thriving!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

gettin' ready jams

When I was in high school and college, I can remember being crowded around the mirror with friends jamming out while getting ready to head out for the night. Some times the memories of us doing each other's hair, passing makeup around and trading outfits are even better than the party, club or cookout we went to.

Those "getting ready" moments continued as we all got ready together as bridesmaids at each other's weddings...

Urs & Paige at Dana's wedding where we all had to keep an eye on each other's flowers (we each wore some in our hair)

jacking it to jesus trying to get some volume for Carla's wedding

because I can't make a normal face.... trying to change my rainbows to heels

a little post-wedding bustling for Hope

and some pre-wedding poofing for Carla

and again with the face.... re-curling my hair for Hope's wedding

But always present while we're getting ready are some of my "hype" songs. Here are our favorites:
Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks on Grooveshark

Show Stopper (feat. Yung Joc) by Danity Kane on Grooveshark

Let Me Blow Your Mind by Gwen Stefani on Grooveshark

Out Tonight by Rent Soundtrack on Grooveshark

Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus on Grooveshark

We Can't Stop by Miley Cyrus on Grooveshark
I hate that there are two Miley songs up here, but they're so dag on catchy.

You Don't Have To Call(ThrowBa by Usher on Grooveshark

I've got a feeling by Black Eyed Peas on Grooveshark

Diva by Beyoncé on Grooveshark

I Wanna Go by Britney Spears on Grooveshark

No Diggity by Blackstreet on Grooveshark

It's Getting Hot in Here by Nelly on Grooveshark

Big Pimpin' by Jay-Z on Grooveshark

What are you favorite "getting ready" jams?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting!

I'm linking up with Michelle @ The Vintage Apple for "Oh, How Pinteresting!"

It's been the season of babies around these parts (I've got two friends with newborns and three pregnant friends), and I am so excited to be hosting a baby shower for my cousin Carla on the 18th for her sweet baby girl "Baby B" (her and her husband are keeping the name a secret and it's killing me because I want to monogram ALL the things). 

a VERY pregnant me and cousin Carla at my baby shower in 2011
love hosting, decorating and crafting for events and baby shower are my absolute favorite (read about other events I've helped host/decorate here). 

Carla is about the least girliest girl I know, so the pink will be minimal and our main colors will be purple, turquoise and lime green. One of our church ladies is making her a beautiful cake with owls and bunting on it so I am going to plan the rest of the shower theme around that... which of course means I had to hit up Pinterest for some ideas.

precious invitation via
love this, but would have to BIG TIME change up the colors, no pink for this mamavia
cotton candy dish owls

love the idea of little owl "ornaments"\
litle owl pom poms!
love this tree idea as a centerpiece
owl balloons (and yay, no helium!)

So, what are you pinning lately?