A DIY Disaster: What Happened With Our Wedding Flowers?

A DIY Disaster: What Happened With Our Wedding Flowers?

SPOILER ALERT: Things didn’t go as planned.

As an extremely frugal person, I spent the months leading up to our wedding researching ways we could save the most money — particularly on details that I didn’t care too much about … like flowers.

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

When we began planning our wedding, there weren’t many traditions we were keen on keeping.

Cake cutting? No thanks. We’d rather just grab a cupcake and mingle with our guests.

Bouquet and garter toss? Nah. We’re in our late-20s and most of our friends are already married, so throwing out a bouquet or a garter that had been strapped to my sweaty leg all day didn’t appeal to us. Plus, we didn’t want to take away from dancing during the reception. We just wanted to party.

However, there were some traditions we couldn’t part with. Like not seeing each other before the ceremony, a first dance and dances with our parents, and, of course, my something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

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My Charlotte Bachelorette Party

My Charlotte Bachelorette Party

This past weekend, my best girlfriends treated me to one last fling before the ring.

We popped the bubbly because I’m getting a hubby.

And all those other obligatory bachelorette sayings.

I might be biased, but I firmly believe this will go down in history as one of the best bachelorette parties ever.

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Memorial Day Weekend Recap and the Realization that I Would Be A Lot Happier if I Stopped Talking About the Future

Memorial Day Weekend Recap and the Realization that I Would Be A Lot Happier if I Stopped Talking About the Future

I have a bad habit of constantly looking ahead to the future — to things I have no control over — and trying to plan life event after life event. And that annoying pet peeve in my personal behavior has never been more apparent to me until this past Memorial Day Weekend.

I love MDW because it signals the beginning of warm days here in Carolina. Traditionally, the fella and I welcome summer on Lake Norman each year with family and some of our closest friends. We grill out, drink beers, float in the water, and just have good, old-fashioned fun.

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Hali’s NC Brew Tour: Month 1

Hali’s NC Brew Tour: Month 1

I (unofficially) kicked off Hali’s NC Brew Tour and began sipping away at my new “beers” resolution the second weekend in January as I spent Sunday Funday brewery hopping with friends.

Now, I call this the unofficial start because this particular outing was unexpected and last minute. I received a text message from one of my girlfriends that morning inviting Justin and I to meet up with her and her husband later that afternoon for drinks at NoDa Brewing. So, we joined them and one thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were sipping suds at Birdsong Brewing before ending the day at Free Range Brewing.

When I first thought up the idea of Hali’s NC Brew Tour and began planning, it didn’t occur to me how much craft beer I would be consuming at a time and how that might alter my memory of the brews I sample. On this first day-drinking stop on my brew tour, I learned that I need to take the time to carefully document my thoughts, capture images of each pour, but also have fun while doing it. Therefore, in this first monthly recap, you will not see many photos and my recollection of beers is based solely on what I plugged in to my Untappd account.

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Don’t quit your daydream

Don’t quit your daydream

Back in September I applied for a job at the College of Charleston. This wasn’t just any job, either. This was my dream job as it combined my passion for journalism and my newfound love for higher education.

I was shocked when in October I received a request from the hiring committee to do a Skype interview. Because this was a fairly high-level position within the communications division at CofC and because I am only 4 years out of undergrad, I couldn’t believe my application had been pushed through and these folks were actually interested in me.

I wanted this job, possibly more than any of the other candidates.

You see, when I was a junior in high school, my parents took me to CofC for a college tour and I fell in love. The moment I stepped foot on that historic campus with its ancient live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, the College of Charleston became my No. 1 choice.

Then, life happened and my mom was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer. Going away to school, especially out of state, was no longer an option. At the age of 18, when all my friends were moving into college residence halls and starting these exciting new lives away from the small community we all were raised in, I did what I had to and stayed home with my mom. I attended UNC Asheville and received a fantastic liberal arts education, but College of Charleston always lived in the back of my mind.

That is why I cried tears of joy when I read the email from the senior director of communications asking if I would be interested in doing a Skype interview with him and the rest of the search committee. It was like life was coming full circle and in that moment I felt as if CofC could finally be mine. My dream was (hopefully) finally coming true.

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Counting my blessings

Wedding dress shopping day

Saturday was surreal, beautiful, and memorable thanks to the women in my life.

As a motherless daughter who is planning her own wedding, I have been dreading going wedding dress shopping for the past 5 months.

I had so much anxiety about the anticipation of missing my mom on this special day that I strategically planned to put off shopping for my dress as long as I could.

I was avoiding it so much that I even pulled out my planner at some point along the way and calculated the last month I could comfortably start shopping before the wedding.

However, when one of the premiere bridal shops in the Charlotte area announced they were going out of business and their entire inventory was heavily discounted, I knew I had to put my emotions aside and make an appointment to try on dresses.

So, I invited my two aunts and cousin down from Asheville to join my maid of honor, matron of honor, mother-in-law, and me on this adventure.

Then, I panicked.

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Becoming a Motherless Bride

Becoming a Motherless Bride

I am walking on unknown territory right now and have debated whether or not I should write down my thoughts about becoming a motherless bride. Not sharing my experiences, especially as a motherless daughter, goes against my foundation for starting “dammit, Hali,” though. So, here I am, trying my best to describe the pain of being a woman who is planning a wedding without her mom and put into words the rollercoaster of emotions I have already experienced.

Yes, this means that after 6 years together, Justin and I are finally planning a wedding. While I am excited to exchange vows in front of our family and friends and officially become his wife, the planning process to this point has been bittersweet and plagued with many emotional highs and lows. In the 2 months since we announced our wedding date and made it “Facebook official,” I have said out loud “I wish my mom could be here” more times than I have altogether in the 7 years since her passing.

When my mom died in July 2009 I was 19 and could not imagine myself getting married or having a wedding without her. Moms and wedding planning typically go together, and the fact that my mom was taken from me before I got to experience the joy — and frustration — of planning a wedding with her is cruel.

Fast forward 7 months to a cold February night when Justin and I met at a college party. I thought he was funny and kind; I’m not sure what his first impression was of me, and I don’t think I will ever ask. We exchanged phone numbers and quickly became friends before we made it official and started dating.

I wish I could say that I immediately knew Justin was the person I would marry, but for the first several months of our relationship I was very much determined to not get married. Then, at some point along the way, I looked at him and it became clear, this man is the one and I will marry him … someday.

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Can I get a snow day redo? I messed up my first one

Can I get a snow day redo? I messed up my first one

#Snowmageddon #Snowpocalypse #snOMG

Or whatever you want to hashtag this winter storm. All those clever doomsday social media word mashups mean the same thing — the possibility of a snow day.

This is the first winter in many years that I have had the luxury of looking forward to a snow day. My first year out of college, working my first big-girl job, I learned that the newspaper industry doesn’t care if the roads are deemed not-driveable by the state highway patrol and your bosses give zero fucks about your safety. Their only concern is whether or not you’re at your desk cranking out newspaper pages. Calling out because of a little snow and ice is not an option.

Now, I have a regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can “enjoy” a nice day at home when the weather shuts down my place of employment. That’s exciting, right? Right?

Enjoy is the operative word in that last sentence.

I’m here to tell you, the idea of a snow day is so much better than actually being stuck in your house for 24-plus hours. At this point, I’m going crazy.

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