Let the Belly Busting Begin

Yes, we made a meal out of our tasting.  Who ever knew that the mix of yummy goodness that Gigi’s catering provided at our first tasting would substitute for my late evening meal of a Lean Cuisine. But, hey, I am SO not complaining!

This part of wedding planning Ryan really enjoyed.  And while we don’t want to say that we have a theme, our southern roots run strong and we want people to enjoy the heartiness that comes along with southern comfort food.  Weather permitting, our reception will be outside and we want our guests to feel like they can kick off their shoes and be, and as Tim McGraw says, “country boys and girls gettin down on the farm”.

Below are some of my favorite inspirations from the food side of things:

This is a shrimp and grits bar… Ryan and I decided this is a must!

We want to have sliders grilled fresh along with marinated chicken tenders.  The one’s we tried at Gigi’s had yummy onions on them like the ones above (and I don’t even like onions!).

Fried Green Tomatoes anyone? I found this on a photographers site and liked the idea…

And of course it wouldn’t be complete without sweet tea in a mason jar! We might switch it up though and go with the caterer’s cups and put candles in the mason jars down long tables.

We have more caterers to try out but I will have to say, the first one was a success… just ask our busting bellies!


Horses, Hats and Hubbabaloo

I’m starting to see a trend here… more and more this blog is beginning to become a Discovering My Life blog instead of Discovering PR which it started out to be in my Junior year PR class. But I just can’t help but share last weekend’s adventures with you!

One year ago from last Saturday I attended a very rainy Carolina Cup and met Ryan, my now fiance.  It actually turns out he is from the town, Camden, where the horse race is held so this year we went with all 29ish of our friends and stayed at his house for the whole weekend. It was a blast!

This is me and Ryan. We celebrated the day with our signature drink too, Peach Firefly and Lemonade yum (which we are definitely serving at the wedding)!

This is my group of girls that all came down: Me, Katie, Laura, Leslie and Barbara, oh and don’t forget about Cotton down there!  (from left to right) (can’t ya just feel our Lilly love)

At the Clemson Pike’s tailgate: Barbara, Jason, Katie, Trey and Me (from left to right)

This is my silly fiance, he thinks he can pull it off too.

It was kinda bittersweet because it was the day we met a year ago but it is also the last year we would pitch our tent in College Park.

Oh well, we made sure to live it up! Annnd do Grad students count? Because, drum roll please…… Ryan got into the Clemson MBA Program last weekend too!!! Yay, we have our after-graduation lives on the right track 🙂

Willow Creek Conservatory

I finally feel like the wedding is in official motion!  Today me, my not-yet-named-but-will-be maid of honor and my Mom, Nana and Aunt Kristen (yes I know its a lot but I’ve got a huge family, all who are really involved) will be going to visit the Willow Creek Conservatory where I hope to have my reception!  I’m going to take a million pictures but the website provides a lot as well, here’s a little sneak of some of theirs:

An Ocean of Possibilities

The wind is dancing, the sun is brightly playing peek-a-boo and the ocean is skating across the white sandy beach from my balcony in Destin, FL during my last spring break. I realized that I needed to take this moment to write about all the happy news that has been going on recently.  Yes, I know, spring break is a happy occasion in and of itself but also on the list is my recent ENGAGEMENT and acceptance of a JOB as an Assistant Account Executive at Ferebee Lane and Company!

On Friday morning, I woke up early to find myself realizing that today I was going to meet with Josh Lane over coffee where I was hoping the idea of joining the team at Ferebee Lane and Compnay full-time would arise. And after that significant meeting, I would drive to my house and meet with my Mom to talk about a wedding budget and plans.  It was then I realized, when did I grow up?  So here’s a little look at this surprising excitement…

All I know is I’m glad I made the effort to get up early and look decent on the morning of February 18th!  By the time I finished working out, classes and a quick stop by the salon to get an eye brow wax my plan to be home by 5 to get ready to go to dinner with my best friend, Barbara, was cutting it thin.  When I blew through the door she quickly followed me to my room to approve of my outfit for our little night out.  She disapproved of all of them and ended up handing me a pink JCrew dress she wore to Cup the year before, on the day I met Ryan Phillips.

We hustled out the door and I didn’t realize, but the next time I would step back into my house I would be an engaged woman!  After a few minutes of driving she pulled over in the very nice restaurant, Calhoun Corners.  My excitement that we were eating here tonight was quickly deterred when she replied, “This is where you’re going to hate me”, and I was blindfolded.  The next 15 minutes consisted of what I felt was some heavy off-roading, and after rolling off a curb and onto ground again we stopped.

I then proceeded to walk/trip down what felt like a million steps.  I was on my way to meeting Ryan on the field in Death Valley.

My blindfold was removed and there he was.  The scared look on his face that almost made him unrecognizable still didn’t take away from the fact that I thought he was the most handsome man on earth.  I walked over to him and he pulled out a piece of yellow ripped out legal pad paper, a classic Ryan thing to do.  After reading to me words that I couldn’t remember for the life of me two seconds later, he got down on one knee and said, “With the blessing of your Dad and Papa, Will You Marry Me?”.

Of course you know the outcome… but what I didn’t expect was his attention to detail!  Ryan got Mykal to shoot the whole proposal (and y’all I’m so glad he did, otherwise I might not believe that this dream is a reality), the ring was 2.18 karats for the date 2/18, when climbing into his truck I realized the bridal magazines and flowers he had laid there, after arriving back at my house we soon headed to dinner with our closest friends and the next day set out for the city where we fell in love, Charleston.

It’s been happy planning since then, and I have to say, I think I could get used to this being engaged thing! With my new job at hand as well, I now feel a little more prepared for that thing that people refer to as the “real world”.  But who knows, just take this as your warning that from now on this blog will be filled with wedding details and life as a new hire!

Discovering New Media – SMC Greenville

I don’t by any means consider myself a social media expert and probably never will.  Social media is always changing, developing, improving and growing.  Last Monday I attended the Social Media Club of Greenville‘s February meeting where four presenters spoke to us on new and developing platforms.

Richard Peck (@peckUSA) spoke to us on meetup.com, mostly comparing this site to Facebook and traditional email.  One thing that Peck said on Facebook invitations to events was that yes means maybe and maybe means no which I thought was an interesting and true point to make.  Yet meetup it is a site dedicated to the event itself with over 6.1 million users. For an example local to me check out the Greenville Wine Meetup site that 62 events have been organized through since it was established in March of 2008.

Our next guest was a recognizable face to those of us living in Greenville, Amy Wood (@tvAmy) from News Channel 7.  I was so glad that she spoke about Apps because this is one sector of social media that I use regularly but do not know much about.  From Wood’s presentation what I found most interesting was the low cost and ease in making an application.  She gave us the site isites.us where you can make Apps for $25.  You must remember though that quality, size, design and approval from Apple matter and can take weeks to be approved.

Russell Tripp (@russelltripp) spoke to us about hosting sites for online video.  And yes there are other ones outside of YouTube such as TubeMogul which allows many different types of video to be downloaded and from multiple types, it will actually transfer the correct type of video needed for you.

Lastly, Kim Madden (@MaddenKim) who summed up social media and set a hopeful tone for those exploring these platforms ended with speaking on her journey and success story.  Through SMC of Greenville, Madden discovered Flickr which she used to give a lotta life to The Bandana Company‘s new catalog.  This shows the power of grassroots campaigns in co-ordinance with social media. Below is one of my favorite pages from the catalog where Madden pulled most of the pictures from Flickr:

This post is long overdue but I wanted to makes sure to share what I’ve learned through these great speakers.  To watch a video of this meeting and see other feedback visit SMC Greenville’s website.  What new platforms are you using and exploring?  What kind of social media are you using in a new way?

Katie Bell

I’m taking a personal moment out of my day and inserting it here  in this blog.  To give you a little bit of background information, my little baby cousin was diagnosed with leukemia two years to the date tomorrow.  She was only 8 1/2 months old.

Almost everyone knows someone who has, had or will get cancer and those who have dealt or are dealing with this situation realize the toll it can take not only on the person affected but family and friends as well.  Katie Bell is doing good, there have been some rough patches in her journey but she is still laughing and smiling like the happiest baby in the world, for this we are so blessed.  Through Katie Bell’s ups and downs my Aunt Karen has been documenting the process through her website on caringbridge.org and her words have brought so much inspiration to me so I felt that today I would share some of her words with you here:

Tomorrow will be 2 years since her diagnosis of infant leukemia.  It was scheduled to earmark the end of her chemotherapy treatments.  Due to the pneumonia, she has been off of chemo since Dec. 8th, but we will have technically reached the end of her therapy tomorrow.  It is a day that we have looked forward to for a long time.  For so many days, weeks and months, it is a day that seemed like ould never come.  It will be a much happier day than the actual last day of her chemo was.  I realize that we won’t know for a very long time whether this is the end to her treatment, but we are believing that it is and we are looking forward, all the while never forgetting where we have been.  It has been 2 years that we as parents will never forget.  It is 2 years that we hope Katie-Belle will never remember.  It will be 2 years that will still leave its’ mark on our whole family forever.  It is the reason that we will continue to fight cancer, not only for the moments that it stole from us , but for all the families that it continues to steal from each and every day.

I hope that anyone dealing with cancer takes Karen’s words to heart and realizes that a light at the end of the tunnel will begin to develop.  The amount of growth that has come into my family from this experience is indescribable.  I’ve seen the frustrated, sad, strong, but most of all faithful side of my family over these past two years.  It makes me so proud to have such a powerful web of people around me and so thankful for the gifts I have been given.

So I guess I want to just end this by saying never forget those who are there for you and be thankful for all you have, cuz lord knows I am!

Click here to donate to the St.Baldricks fundraiser that my cousin and Katie Bell’s brother will be shaving his head for! Here’s a picture of him last year:


Blogging. Where did the concept come from? Who thought it was a good idea to let the thoughts pour straight out of your head, through your fingers and onto the web with the blink of an eye and a click of a button?

Well it was brilliant whoever thought of it and even more brilliance is allowed to the one that made it happen.  You know I could fill this entire post with success stories from those who made blogging go well in their life but tonight one is invariably sparkling in my mind. Julie and Julia. Yes I did just watch the movie but I have found the story mesmerizing.

If you are reading this it may be very well that I know nothing about you yet you know some of the insight into my journey through the study of PR among other life experiences including what I have typed in my bio.

I was recently asked in an interview what do I do for fun? Outside of dabbling in social media, the word cooking quickly followed by baking popped in my head. I can’t remember if I said them out loud or kept them to myself but I can’t deny that those words would be under the definition of fun, relaxing and comforting in my dictionary.

The funny part about all of this is that through that cooking and baking I can relate to Julie from the film quite easily yet my Julia is quite a different character.  I have to tell you that Paula Deen may be one of my favorite people of all time.  Sure her recipes may include butter with a fist full of mayo but I think Julia Childs and Julie can agree this just makes it all the better.

Am I saying I’m going to travel through Paula Deen’s cookbooks taking it one recipe at a time while filling you in on the details, not quite, but I am saying that through this movie I have discovered a lot about blogging.  First to find your passion and stick to it and second to write with your voice and hopefully people will love who you for who you are and what you have to say!

Blogging can seem a little backwards in true writing form but then again most the people who are reading the writing are a little backwards too. So I hope that you are finding and will especially find this post and those to come of interest to you through all the ups and downs and jumbled up letters of my backwards voice.

Bon Apetit!