Tag Archives: Bachelorette

The Best Weekend Ever: NOLA 2013

1 Nov

Sometimes you have those weekends that are great.  Sometimes you even have those weekends that are amazing.  Then a weekend comes along that is the best weekend ever.  This past weekend was my best weekend ever.  11 of my closest friends and I ventured on down to New Orleans for a Bachelorette party in style.  It. Was. Incredible.  Initially when my sister suggested New Orleans, I thought she was crazy. “Julie, everyone and their mother is doing these extravagant bachelorette parties!  I really, really don’t want to inconvenience my friends or pressure them into something they don’t want to do.”  Julie’s response? “Kelly, your friends are all over, they aren’t all in the same state… 80% of them will have to buy a plane ticket anyways, why not go to a tourist destination and make a weekend of it?  You can provide your friends with an experience.  We’re all adults, they won’t go unless they want to!”  And my goodness, an experience we had.  I hate to say Julie was right… but wow, Julie was right.  The weekend was perfection.  It was a great blend of “bachelorette” activities, but also some downtime of just strolling around the city and people doing their own thing.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect time.

My sister and I fly stand-by (my brother works for an airline) and managed to squeak onto the same flight from ATL to New Orleans (yay for flying together)!  We got in super late Friday night and crashed at our airport hotel. The official activities kicked off with lunch on Saturday, so we were able to sleep in and relax a bit before heading down to the French Quarter.

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Ready at the hotel before heading off!

With 12 gals, we squeezed 4 in a room and it worked out perfectly!  Before lunch we all managed to put our things in our rooms and settle in.  My close friend Jessica (who was the co-planner in this endeavor) created welcome bags for everyone.  It was so thoughtful and each bag had a mask, along with candy (yum) and a few other goodies (um, advil).  How cute is she??  Once the whole group was assembled (hello a million reunion hugs!), we ventured off to lunch.  Jess picked out a New Orleans favorite and we lunched right in the French Quarter.

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Eating lunch with the whole group. Yum!

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Exploring the city!

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Wandering around the French Quarter

I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed this part of the city.  It was so quaint and really did have a European flair to it!  The weather was perfection and I kept wanting to pinch myself: I was here with 11 of my favorite people… how did this happen!??  I didn’t think that I would ever have such a gathering, I was just overwhelmed by the love and support.  I know bachelorette parties are all about celebrating and maybe a bit of partying, but honestly I felt somewhat emotional and sentimental the whole time.  It was so touching to have so many of my friends there, just a beautiful thing!

After lunch and a quick roam around the center square, we split up into smaller groups with some of the gals heading back to the hotel for a quick nap, and others venturing into more of the French Quarter.  My little group ended up going to the French Market and picked up some fabulous masks (a cheap and fabulous souvenir!).  We were delighted with our finds.

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Our little group bought some fabulous masks :)

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More roaming!

After a few hours exploring we went back to the hotel to get ready for some ‘official festivities!’ Our goal was to be ready, dressed, and back in our room for the night to begin.  My sisters (Julie and my two sister in-laws) set out to decorate the room with lots of candy, streamers, decorations, and even a pumpkin.

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Yep, this really happened. My friend Jess is the best.

We were in the Halloween spirit!  The plan was for all of my ladies to wear black and for me to wear white – when they arrived it was awesome.  We looked like such a coordinated group ready to hit NOLA!  Also the outfit selection was  fun and pretty painless for the rest of the girls.  They didn’t have to agonize over what to wear too much, and black looks amazing! I’ve been to bachelorette parties before where I really agonized over what to wear, I didn’t want to be too flashy or casual.  I’m a fan of dress codes in this situation!

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The whole gang in our coordinated outfits!

At 7 we started with a few games, drinks, and snacks in the hotel room.  We played something similar to the Newlywed Game- Julie emailed Adam earlier in the week and I had to guess his responses.  Every answer I got correct, the girls had to drink, and for every wrong answer, I had to take a drink.  It was pretty hilarious, and I did a decent job…though some of the questions were pretty ridiculous.  We also opened gifts (hilarious side note: all my gifts were super practical nighties and such.  One of my friends even gave me flannels.  Do my friends know me or what??!).  Afterwards I gave each of the girls a hand written card thanking them for coming and for their friendship over the years.  It was pretty special moment.  I really wanted to find some way to express my gratitude to my ladies, and well… writing worked for me! :)

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Pumpkins, cards, candy, and silly straws…what more could you need?

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My former roomie, Katie!

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My sister and sister-in-laws (Well Katie will be my sister-in-law in June!).

Toward the end of game time my sister started tying pink ribbons on each of the girls’ wrists.  I was confused at first, but she explained that every time I wanted a drink throughout the night all I had to do was untie the ribbon to claim my drink from that friend.  It was BRILLIANT.  1. It allowed me to be in control of how much I was drinking.  Honestly I don’t drink super often and I have a pretty low tolerance.  I really didn’t want to get sloppy, and this brilliant strategy worked perfectly.  2. It spread out the burden over the girls – it allowed them to each buy me a drink without one girl buying a million. I can’t recommend this strategy enough if you’re planning a bachelorette party in the future.

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The whole outfit! I rented my dress from Rent the Runway and found my little veil at Charlotte Russe for 8 bucks. And my sister in law got my sash on Etsy!

We also played a scavenger hunt throughout the night, taking various pictures for each of the requirements.  When Julie asked if I had any preferences about the party months ago, I just told her I didn’t want to get really drunk and I also didn’t want to do anything that would make me feel uncomfortable with other guys.  I picked Adam as my man; I personally didn’t really feel the need to spend time with guys – I was there with my girls!  This scavenger hunt was great because it wasn’t focused on other guys, mainly just doing silly fun things as a group.  Some highlights?  “Dance the Macarena as a group” (which we did to some random rap song in a club.. hilarious) and “take a picture with a police man” (thank goodness it was Halloween, a ‘cop’ jumped right in one of our pictures without us even asking.)  My sister did a perfect job finding fun activities that everyone thoroughly enjoyed without making me feel uncomfortable.

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Loaded up and ready to go to eat a late dinner.

After our “game time” we all loaded up into a 12 passenger taxi to Emeril’s restaurant.  Talk about FANCY!  I was in shock we were somewhere so classy.  This kind of thing just happens on pinterest or  in the movies or to other girls! I was just on cloud nine; I don’t think I’ve ever felt so special in my life. When we walked in, we made quite the splash with our coordinated outfits.  The food was divine and it was SO special being there with my ladies. A few of the toasts brought tears to my eyes, but I was proud I managed to keep it together (success!).  At one point, a little boy came over to our table asking if I was getting married.  I smiled yes and  asked his name (Noah) and age (9) and we took a picture together.  He was so cute and gave his friend a high five when he got back to his table, talk about adorable.  10 minutes later our waiter arrived with 12 fancy shots on a tray… from the two little guys at the table next to us!  Talk about learning how to be smooth with the ladies early on!!  Though, they were there with their Dads and we could tell their whole table was getting a kick out of the whole thing. We eventually reciprocated with 2 Rory Rogers (coke and grenadine… I used to have them as kid).  The whole thing was pretty hilarious and got our night started on the right foot!  After they left, we learned that one of the Dads was the founder of Jimmy John’s!  So the rest of the night we were feeling famous after getting a round from Jimmy John (that was not subs).

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Fancy ladies dining.

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My amazing friend Jess who helped pull this amazingness off. She carved three pumpkins, that’s dedication.

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Our fun masks! With my friend Allie.

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“Uh, did a 9 year old just buy us shots?!”

Once our delicious, fun, and wonderful beyond wonderful dinner ended, we loaded back up and went out to Bourbon Street to experience it in all its glory!  Because it was Halloween weekend it was madness.  People EVERYWHERE.  Costumes EVERYWHERE.  It was just surreal being there.  I LOVE dancing (pretty much nothing I love more, it’s a sick obsession) so we went to dance clubs, karaoke places, and danced some more.  Eventually we headed home around 4 am with some hilarious memories and everyone really in pretty good shape (myself included: success!).  I couldn’t BELIEVE we stayed out til 4 – I struggle to stay up til 11pm normally… this was shocking.  But just goes to show how time flies when you’re having fun.

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All the ladies out on Bourbon!

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The bride says we must dance!

The next day we woke up for a delicious breakfast at the Ruby Slipper, which really hit the spot (hello French Toast!). We wandered back to the hotel and packed up to say goodbye.  Everyone kept saying how amazing the weekend was and how happy they were that they came.  My little heart just wanted to explode.  I am so happy that everyone had such a good time.  I mean it was pretty amazing for me – but I wanted to make sure others had a great time too.

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Brunch the next day… so yummy.

Because I fly standby I had to try for a couple flights (major bummer) and eventually made it out of New Orleans on a flight to Memphis (success.. I thought I’d be in NOLA til Monday). I thought my troubles were behind me, but shocker…eventually got stuck in Memphis overnight.  I looked up how far Nashville was… my wheels were turning, maybe I could make lemonade out of lemons and see Adam!  It was just 3 hours.  I found a car rental for $35 and made the drive to overnight in Nashville.  After such a magical weekend it was AWESOME to get to see Adam, if only for about 2 waking hours!

I made it home late Monday thanks to some flight delays…but all of the hassle has been entirely worth it.  I’m so happy I have all my memories and pictures from such a treasured weekend.  I know I’ll remember this one for a long, long, LONG time.  This week has been a bit sleepier and hectic than usual, but a fair tradeoff for the best weekend ever, don’t you think??

Yoga Class and Fun Updates!

9 Oct

Hey Gang!

It’s an exciting day all the way around.  Today I leave to head South for my big brother’s wedding (tear!). I’m thrilled for this weekend and literally just can’t wait to be down with family and friends to celebrate.  It will truly be a magical weekend.  AND…today is my first yoga class! Yep, you heard that correctly! Recently my gym at work started offering fitness classes during lunch and after work.  Talk about score!  Since I can’t run during the lunch hour like I used to, I decided to look into a nice alternative.  And brilliantly enough there are Mon/Wed yoga classes.  Double score.  Before I dive into the exciting events of today, let’s take a look back on the past week!

Visit from Adam!

Remember him?  Yeah, my fiancé was back in town this weekend.  The past two weeks he was on an outpatient rotation that allowed for weekends off.  Can you imagine, two weekends off in a row?!  Gosh, pure heaven.  We had a super productive, yet relaxing weekend.  In terms of wedding things, we finalized our ceremony and music (I LOVE it!), we had a bachelorette dress fashion show (see below), we went to THREE of our premarital requirements (including a half day premarital retreat with other couples), and we worked on printing labels for our invitations.  I have been blissfully giddy with all our productivity.  It is INCREDIBLE how much I love wedding planning when Adam is around, and how much I hate it when he’s away!  It was great to feel wedding-refreshed and really jazzed up about the whole thing.  Wedding planning seems to go in waves of excitement/stress, so this weekend was perfect.

We also had the chance to be fancy people and went on our first date in forever.   We dressed up and I even put on make-up (gasp!) for a visit to the symphony. It was a fantastic show and we really had a wonderful time just going on a date.  So. Much. Fun.

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Oh yes, such fancy people!

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We even had fancy people drinks!

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Funny story about this outfit: we bought it about an hour before our date. Adam forgot his dress clothes in Nashville!

Bachelorette Dress Showdown

My bachelorette party is coming up in a few weeks (crazy it’s so soon!!), so it was time to get more serious about finding a dress. I really hate shopping.  I know, I know, what’s wrong with me!?  Well, let me rephrase that: I hate shopping for specific items that I must find.  If it’s just a casual day roaming, great.  But a marathon day of hunting for every white dress in any store – BAHHH.  Somehow my sister talked me into a bachelorette party in New Orleans.  Yep, you heard that right.  A whole ridiculous weekend.  I have long felt ‘anti’ any big inconvenient weekends for these sorts of events…it somehow felt like an imposition on my friends.  My sister used some pretty good logic to talk me into it though: people won’t come if they don’t want to (true), AND all of my friends are incredibly spread out…meaning 90% of them would have to buy a plane ticket to come to the party no matter where it was, why not give them an awesome tourist destination and perfect weekend getaway.  I followed her logic, so to New Orleans we go!  12 girls will be there in total, so Julie was definitely right that it would be a hit decision!  For many of us, it will be the first time to NOLA :)  So onto the dress dilemma, here are the runner-ups and winner!

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Runner-up! I LOVE this dress, but it was deemed not “bachelorette” enough. My sister wants a real bridal look, and I’m happy to oblige.

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Runner-Up! Adam deemed this dress ‘a bit aggressive.’ Haha. Let’s be honest, it’s a little more risque with the leather skirt and tight fit. The picture doesn’t show off it’s full “aggressiveness.” Back to the store it went…

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Runner-Up! A comfortable dress, but didn’t have much of a wow factor. I ended up wearing this on our symphony date instead ($15.80 at Forever 21, score).

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WINNER! This dress is flappertastic and amazing to move in. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but all the tassels are so fun and flattering when I move. Can’t wait to wear it!

Winery Wedding

So this weekend is my BROTHER’s wedding – and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  I’m heading down early in order to be a slave happy, helper wedding bee.  I am so happy I could take some time off to be there to help get things organized and hopefully reduce stress in any way I can. My sister is flying in from Seattle, my Dad from somewhere (he’s a pilot, haha I don’t know where he is), me from Indy, and my Mom drove down so we’ll have a car for pick-up and errands.  I can’t wait to post pictures next week from the whole weekend.  The wedding is set in a winery, which is the place my brother and his fiancée went on their first weekend getaway.  Aww, so romantic.  They have been working so hard to make it a comfortable, beautiful, and memorable wedding.  I can’t wait to experience it.  Both my sister and I are bridesmaids and I will be singing with Adam in the ceremony.  Should be nice.

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Remember this dress? Time to wear it!

Yoga Benefits and Nerves!

Alright, onto the whole point of this post… my first yoga class.  Well truthfully, I believe this is actually my second yoga class ever, but this will be my first in what I hope is a new regular habit.  With all my dancing and strength training, I really wanted to add in a new activity that will help in flexibility and injury prevention. Especially now that my knee is even worse (don’t want to talk about it :S), I think yoga could be just the ticket.  I brought my own mat from home (yeah, I’m a total yogi) and will head over there around lunch time.  Honestly I’m a bit scared.  I’m so used to the comfort of my own living room to do yoga, and more specifically, the comfort of being ALONE! I’m not incredibly balanced or flexible so I know I will feel a bit silly.  I’m hoping this class will push me, help me have correct form, and make me more confident in my yoga skills. AND the big thing – make me enjoy it.  I’ll be honest, I’ve pretty much always hated yoga.  But I do understand how helpful it is, and over the last year I have learned to like it.  Or is it, tolerate it?  Either way, I know I do feel more relaxed and calm after I finish yoga, I just don’t know how I feel about the actual doing yoga part.  :) If you’re on the fence or just can’t get your mind around yoga, I’d suggest starting with a beginner DVD.  Forcing myself to do it just once a week has been very doable and has eased me into yoga very gently.  To help pump me up for class today I did a little research to find some health benefits of yoga.  Here’s what I found:

Yoga Health Benefits
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood  pressure, and improve heart function (sweet).  And it can be done by almost anyone.
  • The Yoga Health Foundation even goes as far to say it can ease chronic back pain, depression and nerve impulses with diabetic patients.  It also listed something very near and dear to me: asthma and breathing. Several studies have shown increased lung function with regular yoga practice.
  • The Yoga Journal lists myriad benefits including improving blood flow, warding osteoporosis, and improving strength.

And that’s just after a quick google search!  The benefits are there, and I’m looking forward to stepping up my yoga practice from a once a week video to a twice a week class.  I look forward to more variety…  I feel like I’m ready for the next level!  Honestly I always hated yoga because I wasn’t good at it, and because it wasn’t a huge calorie blaster.  But, with my chronic knee pain I want to work out not only for a svelte figure, but for my health and longevity of being active.  I think yoga is a great answer for me.

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Remember, Adam and I got engaged using my Yoga Mat, hopefully those happy thoughts will push me through today :)

Send me your positive vibes as I nervously step into my first class today – I really hope it isn’t too hard and or ‘in touch with my feelings’ for me, fingers crossed I can get some practical yoga ;)

Happy Wednesday and have a great rest of the week!

-Kelly