Friday, October 31, 2014

Kearns Party of 2: Getting Ready

Getting ready was one of the most fun, although slightly stressful, parts of my wedding day. The best part was that my bridesmaids and I got to spend it together helping each other perfect our liquid liner,  borrowing lipstick, and using every available curling wand to add waves to my hair before the first look!
A Starbucks latte was an absolute must!
The gals got to work on my hair adding wave after wave to my painfully thick hair!
This photo is just too cute--I have this one framed at my office!
So thankful for these incredible, Godly women who prayed over me and my marriage!

Ryan helped me pick out a lipstick color for our big day, so it was extra special to be able to wear Tarte in Pink Peony that day!
Little did I know that Ryan had worked with my girls to get my wedding shoes before our rehearsal the night before to write a sweet verse and note on them! There was definitely a couple ugly cry moments after this..
[A detail shot of the note coming soon!]
Ryan and his groomsmen got ready backstage at our venue, the Doc & Merle Watson Theatre, where countless talented musicians have done so throughout the years!
Ryan chose to gift personalized home shirts and a comical (and helpful!) book called The Art of Manliness.

Don't tell anyone, but they signed that guitar alongside names like Doc Watson, The Avett Brothers, and Carolina Chocolate Drops!
Robes / Ties / T-shirts here and here

All photos by Joy Davis Photography!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kearns Party of 2: Rehearsal Dinner

It has been four months [and counting] since our wedding celebration day in June, and we've officially been Mr. and Mrs. for exactly 10 months now!

For our year's worth of wedding planning I shared tips, ideas, and photo inspiration for our big day (and yours!), and now I am ready to share the incredible pictures that our photographers snapped of June 21, 2014!

But first I'm going to start with the rehearsal dinner. Although we didn't have Joy and Ryan Davis there to photograph the details, laughter, toasts, and delicious food, my MIL did get a few photos of the decor she put together, and we were able to get a professional shot of the invite the next day!

Photo above by Joy Davis Photography
Custom invite via Pretty Little Papers on Etsy
 We had a private upstairs room in the charming 6th and Main in downtown North Wilkesboro. It was such a sweet, intimate night with our immediate family and wedding party. The toasts were both hilarious and sentimental, and I absolutely treasure the moments we shared with our nearest and dearest.

Stay tuned for wedding goodness coming soon!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Baked Blueberry French Toast

A weekend tradition for the Mr. and I always revolves around cinnamon buns. Depending on our plans, we'll bake and devour either Saturday or Sunday morning--but they're pretty much always a weekend staple. Minis, giants, cream cheese icing, or Cinnabon cinnamon, organic, processed..we love them all.

But the soft cinnamon bread and sugary icing was starting to get a wee bit old. So I, of course, turned to Pinterest..and found this recipe for Baked Blueberry French Toast.

After a trip to the Tanglewood Park Farmers Market to pick up this gorgeous homemade wheat bread loaf, I couldn't wait to get started.

  • 8 pieces of bread (I did half thick organic white bread and half with this whole wheat loaf)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinammon
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • cooking spray
  • 8+ pats of butter (1+ per slice of bread)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Spray a large cookie sheet with baking spray
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, salt, and cinammon
  4. Dip each piece of bread in the batter, soaking on both sides and letting the excess drip off
  5. Place each soaked piece of bread on the cookie sheet and let sit for 5-10 minutes
  6. Top with blueberries (thawed)
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bread is golden brown
  8. Remove from oven and add butter and maple syrup
  9. Serve and enjoy!

The best part about making baked french toast is that the prep time is short and after it's in the oven you can chat with guests, or in my case--spend a little time with my Mr. instead of being in the kitchen the whole time.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Non-Alcoholic Moscow Mule

I spotted a pair of moscow mule mugs at TJ Maxx several months ago, but decided against the purchase (one of those moments where you look back and wonder what in the world was I thinking?!). During our Charleston vacation, the Mr. and I spotted a vintage set while window shopping just as the shop was closing. I decided right then and there that I would make a set my own!

Thank goodness TJ Maxx hadn't sold out, and I was able to pick up a matching set of four for our ever-growing collection of barware!

And the perfect way to celebrate this new purchase is with a fresh [non-alcoholic] Moscow Mule, of course!


  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice (unless you get gigantic limes like I did, you'll need about 2 limes)
  • A few slices of fresh lime or ginger for garnish
  • 1 cup ginger beer**
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 4 oz. club soda, tonic, or sparkling water (replace this with vodka for the alcoholic version)
  • Ice cubes (bonus: freeze a little lemon and lime juice and ginger beer as ice cubes to prevent a watered down drink)
          *This recipe makes a full mug of the Moscow Mule--you can easily half the recipe for a smaller cup
          **There are several brands available, especially in the fall months, and they all work great! Don't substitute this for ginger ale, though, as that is much sweeter and won't give the little bite that Moscow Mules are known for

  1. Add all ingredients together and stir well (you can shake instead of stir if you're making the alcoholic version without the club soda)
  2. Garnish with a fresh lime slice and/or slice of ginger
  3. Enjoy!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Chia Limeade

While lounging inside one dreary afternoon, the Mr. and I stumbled upon Food Network and the very end of a recipe on Chia Limeade. I love, love limeade and knew that this would be a great way to try something new and healthy! I made a pitcher a few days later, and it is better than I expected!

  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (around 6 gigantic limes or around 8 regular size)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 5 cups water total
  • 1/2 cup sugar (you could do a little bit less for a more tart flavor)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • Ice cubes (bonus: freeze a little lime juice and mint leaves as ice cubes to prevent a watered down drink)
  1. In a medium bowl mix the chia seeds and 1 cup cold water. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix 4 cups cold water with the 1/2 cup sugar in pitcher, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves.
  3. Add 1 cup lime juice and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in the chia seeds (no need to drain or rinse--the acidity from the limes will dissolve the jelly-like texture!).
  5. Garnish with the fresh mint leaves and lime slices.
  6. Enjoy! 

Let me know if you try this and if you love it or not!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Charleston Vacation

The last weekend in September we went on our annual beach trip to Folly Beach by Charleston with part of my husband's family. It was some much needed time away, even if the weather wasn't cooperating completely. And the best part was that we didn't have to backpack hike to get there!
 We arrived late Thursday night and spent some time catching up and just relaxing in the condo with family. First thing Friday, though, the Mr. and I went on an early morning walk along the shore. Putting my (freshly pedicured--I finally used the gift card my Mr. got me for Valentine's Day) feet in the sand felt amazing!
 Saturday we spent the day in downtown Charleston visiting some of our favorite shops and exploring new ones. I am always so in awe of the gorgeous architecture and details!
 One of my must-visit places is Savannah Bee Company. I love stocking up on their delicious honey, and was especially excited for this new initiative The Bee Cause Project. Plus--their artisanal honey makes for perfect gifts, especially to parents who take care of your dog while you're away!

 On a tiny side street we noticed the cutest little spot, and just had to check it out! We picked up the tastiest gourmet macarons, specialty chocolates, and drinking chocolate from Christophe Artisan Chocolatier. I highly recommend you stop there next time you're in Charleston!

On our last morning we decided to stop at Starbucks for caffeine on the go, but found a couple food trucks along the way right by the main intersection in town. Crepes and local fruit smoothies were the perfect breakfast!
 Ryan decided on a savory crepe with smokey pork and I, of course, went for sweet with Nutella and bananas!
We had the absolute best time, even if we were only away for a few days. It felt good to recharge and gear up for a busy fall season!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Backpack Camping

Well, I made it through my first backpack camping experience! After a crazy two weeks of events and working 11 days straight (thinking back on it now that doesn't seem that bad, but I was definitely exhausted), I decided to be a bit spontaneous and suggest a last-minute backpack camping trip to my Mr. Obviously he jumped right on-board, and the next day we were all packed into two backpacks with our pup, Prince Cashmere, and ready for a night in the woods!

We decided to camp at Stone Mountain State Park, a local favorite of ours for hiking. The trip there was short, just under an hour, but the 2-mile hike to our campsite was treacherous! We got to our site and set up just before dusk and made our favorite camping treat--macaroni and cheese! I finally fell asleep while trying to ignore the possibility that bears would come and attacks us, and woke up refreshed (and sore) to an absolutely incredible morning.

The weather could not have been more perfect, and we ended up hiking around 10 miles total--4 of those with incredibly heavy backpacks on! I totally recommend trying out backpack camping, especially if you'll get bonus points with your husband like I did!
 Good morning! The Mr. made us oatmeal and hot tea for breakfast.
 Our home for the night!
Just off the trail was a gorgeous little clearing with the chimney of an old homestead
 The view from one of the lookouts on Stone Mountain
 Oh and this little picture is after the Mr. decided to take the scenic route to get ice cream (my award for the trip!) with absolutely no sign of restrooms and then we get stopped by a 10-minute stoplight!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Parent's 40th Anniversary

Several weeks back I posted a couple little glimpses into a special dinner I planned for my parent's 40th anniversary. Although this comes over a month later, I just wanted to share a few of the photos and celebrate again just how incredibly dear my parents are to me.

Forty years is certainly not easy, but what a wonderful testimony! I know, without a doubt, that my parent's marriage and strong faith were a direct blessing to me, my siblings, and everyone around them. They both are truly gifts from the Lord, and I am beyond thankful for them, their example of a God-honoring bond, and their unconditional love for each other and for me!

Besides getting to showcase my new everyday china, gold flatware, and new obsession for linen napkins, one of my favorite parts about prepping for the dinner was transitioning our bar cart into a coffee bar!
I chose a neutral centerpiece to bring out the bright white of the china and serving dishes. The fresh tulips from Trader Joe's were so gorgeous!
Extra dinner guests meant mismatched dining chairs, which I loved!
I had such a wonderful time spending the afternoon cooking with my Mr., and once my two nieces arrived, they helped to put the finish touches on the mini chicken pot pies.
While everything else on the menu was homemade, I did end up purchasing a red velvet cake with textured cream cheese icing--and it did not disappoint!

Homemade Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Buttery Green Beans Almondine
Fresh Garden Salad
Organic Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Fried Local Okra
[the pickled beets weren't originally on the menu, but my Mr. insisted, and they added some nice color to the table!]