I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! Ours was certainly filled with so many blessings. We woke early Sunday morning for a beautiful sunrise service at Wrightsville Beach. It's the first time we've done that as we normally go to traditional service but I honestly think this may become a new tradition for us. 

Last year, we hosted Easter for the first time. It was also our first time hosting a holiday at our home. We decided to make it a tradition, hosting our second annual Easter luncheon! This year, our crowd expanded and we had around 25 people! Thankfully, we were blessed with beautiful weather which makes it much easier for us to entertain. 

In theory, I should have showcased our Easter tablescapes before the occasion, but in all honesty, I didn't have my tables planned until super last minute this year! Despite that, I'm going to keep some of our setup into spring as it works well until we get to summer as well. 

We have a formal dining room and then our breakfast room off the kitchen, so we had 12 dining seats that are normally in our house. We also added a 4-person table with chairs that Stephen used before we got married, which worked out perfectly. We also set up two 6-person tables on our back patio - thank goodness it wasn't raining! If it had been, we would have had to make a plan B for sure! 
For our indoor tables, I wanted to keep everything cohesive and simple and use some of the pieces we already had. My sweet mama purchased these adorable bunny plates from Pottery Barn (sold out online but available in some stores) and let me borrow them. They were the perfect pieces to add with my Vietri chargers and Raynaud dinner plates. 
It's amazing to me how much fresh flowers truly brighten up a space! I knew that I wanted a large but simple arrangement on our dining room table and then would play it by ear from there so I headed to Trader Joe's for some fresh cut florals. I will say that this time around, they didn't have quite as much of a variety as they sometimes do, but it's also because I had a vision (they did have gorgeous tulips, but this vision didn't include those...). From TJ's, I purchased the long-stemmed hydrangeas and snapdragons. 

I had to go to Harris Teeter for a few other things, and they certainly didn't disappoint. I picked up some bells of Ireland, lilies, and curly willow branches. The lilies, hydrangea and willow branches made for the perfect outdoor arrangement, which I filled with bells of Ireland as well. 
For our outdoor tablescape, we mixed and matched new with old. We purchased these rope melamine plates from Pottery Barn last year and while we sometimes use them for dinner on a regular night, they are perfect for outdoor dining! I added a few pretty square ones that I found at Home Goods and then topped each of them with these fun floral salad plates
Stephen and my father-in-law also hung our new porch swing this weekend! It is safe to say that I absolutely love it and know that I will spending so much time out here, especially on these cooler spring days!

I hope everyone had the best weekend! All product details are listed below. 

Inside tables:
Chargers - Vietri
Dinner plates - Raynaud China
Salad Plates - Pottery Barn 
Glass candle sticks - Pottery Barn
Purple napkins - World Market
Green napkins - Pottery Barn
Monogram Napkins - Mud Pie
Floral table runner - Target

Outdoor tables:
Woven chargers - Wayfair
Melamine dinner plates - Pottery Barn
Melamine salad plates - Target
Floral tumblers - Target (blush and clear)
Square plates - Home Goods

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Hope everyone is excited for Easter weekend! We're excited to be hosting our families for an Easter lunch and we are so looking forward to it. I'm working at the shop this weekend as well so it'll be a busy one for sure, but between our planned sunrise service on the beach + having our family celebrate, it's one we can't wait for!

What kind of car do you drive?
I have a Suburban! I got it last summer and while it's a big car for just me, it's perfect for when we do events for the shop (I am doing a pop-up this week and the Suburban holds everything much more easily than my 4runner did) and since I don't plan on getting a new car anytime soon, it will be a great family vehicle when that time comes. 

What do you eat in a day?
Yikes! This is a tough one. Some days I am super conscious and eat clean, others I'm super healthy until dinner when we order pizza, and then there are days where I just want all the junk food. As a whole, I'm trying to be more conscious of eating, so a typical day when I'm at the store looks something like this:
  • Cup of coffee (or two) while I'm getting ready
  • Oatmeal or smoothie when I get to the shop (I usually eat this while I'm catching up on computer work)
  • Brown rice bowl with veggies from Epic Food Co. for lunch or leftovers from dinner the night before
  • Chicken, pork or steak with a sweet potato and broccoli for dinner
I use the above lightly because there are so many nights where we grab dinner out (we love Mexican food), but as we head into summer, I'm trying to make a more valiant effort to eat a more healthy dinner at home. 

How long have you and your husband been together?
Almost 9 years! We dated for close to 7 and then August will be 2 years of marriage. 

Favorite Wilmington restaurant?
This is a tough one too. We have so many places that we love and then so many more that we want to try, but you can check out this post here for some of the places we frequent. 

Which camera do you use for pictures?
My parents gave me the Nikon D610 for Christmas which was a definite step-up from my Nikon D3200. I loved my first Nikon but the D610 has definitely improved the quality of photos, especially when I'm taking them for other people. 
By the way, are you in the Richmond, Virginia area? If so, you should check out River Run Dental Spa! I had the Invisalign treatment (which they specialize in) for a year and still wear my nighttime aligners every single night!

I am finally catching up from the excitement that was the 2019 North Carolina Azalea Festival! If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen that Stephen and I were escorts to Miss North Carolina throughout the week. I was often asked what that meant, so keep reading to get all the details!

It's safe to say that I've had my share of involvement in the festival. It started back in 2008, when I was an Azalea Belle (you can check out more details about that here). The next year, I was lucky to serve as the 2009 North Carolina Azalea Festival Princess! The princess serves as the year-round representative to the festival, traveling the state and sharing all about what the NC Azalea Festival truly is. Then, in 2011 and 2013, I was honored to serve on the Queen's Court. The Queen's Court is chosen from local titleholders that will be competing in the Miss North Carolina Organization that following June. Each role has been filled with its own share of excitement, but I enjoyed this one as we get to have a more behind-the-scenes look at what truly goes into the festival.

So what is the North Carolina Azalea Festival? It is an incredible revenue producer for the city of Wilmington, creating an estimated $51 million dollars in economic stimulus, which is incredible. The organization is filled with volunteers, co-chairs, board members, etc that pull off a 5 day event that includes concerts, a parade, a street festival, of course beautiful azalea garden tours, and more. Patrons and sponsors of the festival are also invited to other events that include luncheons and a fun Saturday night party. 

This year's special guests included Azalea Festival Queen Briana Venskus who is an actress and producer in Hollywood, the Queen's Court, the NC Azalea Festival Princess Claire-Emma Britt, WNBA Veteran Tamera Young, the National Cherry Festival Queen Grace Boyles, Miss North Carolina Laura Matrazzo, Lt. Colonel Allen T. Lamb, Actor Manley Pope, Navy Staff Director Steffanie Easter, Major General James Everette Livingston, and Festival Artist Bergen DeLeeuw. 

This entourage, along with the Executive Board, volunteers, and escorts, travels to each event throughout the festival in the motorcade (every year I'm a part of it, I try to take a video, but the video just doesn't do the experience justice). Thanks to the Wilmington Police Department, we are escorted from event to event (without having to stop at stoplights, which is pretty neat, might I add). 

Stephen and I were asked to be escorts to Miss North Carolina which worked out wonderfully due to my involvement in the Miss NC Organization and also that fact that I had previously met Laura. She and her official chaperone Lindsay McVety (you can check out Lindsay's blog here) came into Wilmington pre-festival, which is where are duties began. Steve and I served as drivers, photo takers, time management enforcers (that was mostly me - haha), festival liaisons, friends, and more. It's a busy week but certainly an incredible one! We also connected with some other amazing people who were serving as escorts. Caroline and Eric Lytle were escorts to this year's festival artist, and I know Caroline through her business High Strung! You should check out her incredible jewelry and here's a throwback to one of her necklaces featured here on Southern Style

The above doesn't even begin to encompass everything that goes into the festival. The Executive Board and Director along with countless volunteers put in more hours than imaginable to make sure that our city experiences an incredible festival. And it's safe to say that's just what we experienced.

The Itinerary:

This is a general idea of the itinerary we followed! There are other things to see and do throughout the event but this was the schedule for the special guests, which of course is what we did as well!

Day 1:

  • Lunch at the Hotel Ballast 
  • Queen's Coronation at Greenfield Lake
  • Past President's Party at Bluewater

Day 2:

  • Celebrity Reception at Cape Fear Country Club
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center Hospital Visit
  • Brigade Boys and Girls Club Visit
  • Quick dinner at hotel
  • Tyler Farr concert in Downtown Wilmington

Day 3:

  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Garden Party at Airlie Gardens
  •  Dinner at hotel
  • Hank Williams, Jr. Concert

Day 4:

  • Azalea Festival Parade
  • Lunch at hotel
  • Patron's Party at Cape Fear Country Club

Day 5: Depart

Photo Diary

Day 1

For our first day, we were blessed with beautiful weather! We headed to the Queen's Coronation and I chose a Draper James floral wrap dress from last summer. I also used this travel wrap from Target almost every day and I'm so glad I had it!
I dressed things up that evening with this fun midi dress by Hutch from the shop! 

Day 2

Day 2 offered another great weather day, which we were all thankful for. The luncheon was a blast, as we heard from each celebrity guest (and my mom and sister went to this event as well!). For daytime activities on Day 2, I wore this adorable jumpsuit by a brand we carry at ZIA Boutique - Julie Brown NYC. For the evening's Tyler Farr concert, I opted for black jeans, a fun top, and denim jacket. It was a little chilly as we were near the riverfront, so I was glad to have layers!

Day 3

We didn't luck out with the weather on Friday for everyone's favorite Garden Party, but we still had a great time. We first went to a gorgeous home here in Wilmington for the ribbon cutting, as Wilmington offers beautiful garden tours. We then took the motorcade over to Airlie Gardens, which even in the rain was stunning. For this rainy day, I opted for a maxi I've had for a few years by Hutch (and tied it up because the bottom had already been soaked one time at the ribbon cutting and then dried in the car) and paired it with nude Sam Edelman wedges which stood the test of major rain. 

The rain continued into the evening on Friday for the Hank Williams, Jr. concert but we made it work anyway! For that event, I again opted for black jeans and a denim jacket, but switched up my top and wedges. 
dress (sold out, love this one and this one), shoes
leopard tee (sold out, similar), wedges

Day 4

On our last day of festival activities, we were up early for the parade! We sent Miss North Carolina off to her parade vehicle while Stephen and I were taken to the reviewing stand. For these events, I opted for a pair of wide leg pants from the shop and my go-to Loft button tank (and of course that trusty travel wrap because it was a little chilly). 

After an afternoon break, we dressed things up! The Patron's Party is such a special event - attendees include the entire official party, sponsors, and patrons of the festival. It was held at Cape Fear Country Club and was complete with all the details to make it a perfect event. For this event, I opted for gown. We carry the brand Likely at the shop, so I special ordered the Maxson gown in coral for the occasion. It's a very fitted brand so I was a little hesitant but I did love how this gown turned out. 
pants via ZIA Boutique (message to order), wedges, top
Shop the Post:

I know I'm not the only one out there that loves Wayfair - and it's safe to say that half of our house has been stocked with items from the online company. I love that there are so many options to choose from & anything that has 2-day shipping is a favorite for me as well.

My house isn't the only thing I've used Wayfair for - it has become a very good resource for the shop as well. I most recently purchased these geometric bookshelves for the shop to display shoes but before that, I've ordered rugs, an ottoman, chandeliers and more. And it's all delivered right to the shop's front door.
Here are a few of my in-house and shop favorites:
  • Living Room Rug - I get the most questions about this rug! It's one of my favorite things in our home and considering the size, it's such a steal!
  • Media Console Table - A large media console was a must for me and though we have now mounted our TV, I still love the look of this one underneath.
  • Outdoor Furniture Set - while our exact outdoor set is sold out, we did purchase it from Wayfair. This one is almost identical and it was this time last year that we got our backyard all set up.
  • Outdoor Rug - a great option! Every so often we just spray it off and it is as good as new.
  • Gold Drum Chandelier - We have two of these hanging in the store and I'm constantly receiving questions on them. I loved these so much that I was tempted to hang them in my house as well but decided that might be one too many.
While these are just a few favorites, I've also rounded up all the things that we have from Wayfair both at our house and in the store (plus a few things I may have my eye on). 

Wayfair at Home:

Other Favorites:

Anyone else seeing the cutest one-pieces out there?! I always tend to opt for a two-piece swimsuit because I'm not a huge fan of having tan lines but that being said - I can't get enough of some of the adorable options for a fun little one-piece.

I snagged this one for a crazy steal (under $20!) and I love how it pairs with denim shorts and a little kimono. This one comes in several cute colors, but I'm partial to this pretty green this season! I also always love the selection that Nordstrom and Revolve have to offer for cute one-pieces! Shop a few of my favorites below.

P.S. I've battled with trying to get the perfect smile since I was in my pre-teens. If you're in the Raleigh area and are looking for an orthondist for braces, check out Gladwell Orthodontics.

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