Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tied up

Jeff and I got teamed up "tied up" to do String Art!  We are decorating our loft in our new home in "all things Florida", so we decided to create something fun together to hang on the wall! I love the way it turned out!  We used a mint color  string for the state background, a pink heart over our home in St. Augustine with gold nails used as the border.  I think that gave it a more sophisticated look;)  The background is a clean linen that compliments the rest of our laid back coastal theme.  I think I may stencil the words "Home Sweet Home" in pink to finish it off:)  We enjoyed making it so much that we plan to make more and have ideas for different designs for other states and gallery wall looks.  If anyone would like to have one made, let us know! Show your state <3!

Cupid Love and Capturing the Memories

I hoped to get this posted on Valentine's but work got the best of me.....

Waterfront Park Downtown Charleston After Ceremony
This Valentine's marked my older sister, Beth, and brother-n-law, Carl's 5th wedding anniversary.  After meeting in middle school and going through "puppy love", being high school sweethearts, going seperate ways then reconnecting after a few years, these 2 lovebirds were destined to be together!  They had a small intimate wedding ceremony at a chapel in Charleston, SC Valentine's Day 2008.  Of course the day was full of petal pink and candlelight white, roses, cupcakes, and happily ever after!

I wanted to do something special for them this year as they celebrated their anniversary.  I reconnected with an old friend from high school, Crystal.  Crystal and I had year book class together and she was always a creative and talented person!  Crystal has started her own photography business, Crystal Lotero Photography back in NC.  I saw on facebook that she was offering Valentine-themed mini photo sessions and I thought this was a perfect gift for my sister and her hubby to capture their sweet love! It seems since they have kids now, that they are always the ones behind the camera;)  I called Beth, she loved the idea, and so they all met up in Lincolnton, NC for an outdoor photo shoot filled with hearts, sweetgrass flowers (their Charleston touch), and love! 

Beth and Carl couldn't say enough good things about their experience with Crystal!  ....& I think the pics can speak for themselves!  I love their outfits, props, setting, and most of all their smiles and love that is not hard to miss!  I am so happy for my sister and brother-n-law!  Happy 5 years!   Be sure to check Crystal's facebook page out here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/CrystalLoteroPhotography.  
Has anyone else ever had a Valentine photo session?  I have on my list to do with Jeff sometime! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mother Theresa
Spread the LOVE<3!

So many people are opposed to Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday! Boo! I love Valentine's and feel like it is a fun way to show anyone in your life that you care!  If you don't have a significant other, why not do something special for a parent, child, sibling, friend, your pet....or just treat yourself;) 
With the help of Pinterest we have no excuse.  There are so many fun and cute things to DIY in an inexpensive way.  My least favorite thing to receive for Valentine's is a box of chocolates and flowers!  Think outside of the box and put some thought into it!

Here are just a few of my faves:
Use pretty and girly scrapbook paper to cover a boring photo album and give to a special someone filled with memories
1-Cover cheap photo album with scrapbook paper and give it to someone special filled with memories!
2-Bear Hugs snacks-so simple and cute!
3-Valentine Smores-maybe have a smores party if you want "smore" love!
4-Long distance Hugs--so sweet!
5-Blowing Kisses your Way!
6-Red Velvet Cupcake Mix in a stamped muslin bag (pick up at hobby lobby)
7-Movie kit box filled with mini champagne and romantic comedy
ValentineWhat a cute idea for Valentines Day.  Graham cracker, piece of chocolate and a valentine day peep!!Valentine craft for kids - A long distance hug - a beautiful present for someone special -  DIYBlowing kisses your way...red velvet cupcake mixFor the movie lover... ~ Put together a movie night in a box with a movie or tix to a show, two small bottles of champagne/sodas, and candy

My wish is that everyone feels loved this Valentine's! Spread it! xoxo
To Be Loved

Married Mondays-"A"

Jeff and I decided to take Christie's suggestion for "alphabet" date night.  To start off with "A" we went big and had dinner at A1A Ale Works. Lots of "As";)  It is a local favorite in St. Augustine offering great food, brews, atmosphere, and views of the Matanza Bay!  They also have event space for weddings and socal functions.  Have you been? What's your fave menu choices?

It was a wonderful date!  We were lucky enough to eat out on the balcony and enjoy January "Winter" in Florida;)  I had a glass of Reisling and Jeff went for their seasonal beer.  PS.  They brew all their beers!  Both were tasty and we "clincked" our glasses to "A"!  For dinner, I had the pecan crusted salmon with mashed potatoes and veggies.  This was seriously like dessert for dinner...candied pecans on salmon=perfection! I promise I didn't eat all that!  I saved the potatoes for Jeff since there his fave and I don't make them enough.;)  He had the blackended mahi sandwich with fries.  Fries and potatoes for his sides...right up his alley!

Another "Married Monday" success!  You other lovebirds should try the alphabet date night!  The anticipation is killing me as to what all we'll come up with to make it Z! 

Hope everyone is off to a HaPpY week!

I failed to take pics...but found this this online to share of A1A:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays-Our Story and Wedding Websites

our love story

I thought it was only appropriate to give a brief intro to Jeff and I to begin "Wedding Wednesdays".  The "story" was written by the both of us and used on our wedding website last year. 

                         The Story of Us....

The Story of Us....

We begin our story back at the summer of 2005. We both arrived in beautiful Charleston, SC on almost the same day. I made the trek down from North Carolina, and Jeff had a slightly longer journey from his Chicago home. Even though we would not meet until over a year later, destiny was already weaving her web!
You see, not only did we come to Charleston at the same time, but we just so happen to move just down the road from one another. And as luck would have it, we both found work at the same company, the Daniel Island Club. However, it would still be almost 6 months until our first encounter.
I worked up in the main clubhouse of Daniel Island, whilst Jeff found himself down at the fitness center. This is where fate would step in once again. My sister, Beth, also found herself working at the club. She was working down at the pool, near the fitness center, and she saw how much fun Jeff was having everyday…folding towels in the nice A/C…so she decided to join him. As the two of them got to know each other, Beth was beginning to notice similarities between myself and Jeff. She would make subtle comments about Jeff to me, and vice versa. I was busy with school and work and enjoying being with my friends so I never really thought much about it, but that would soon change.
The end of 2006 was coming fast, and it was time for our company’s annual Christmas party. Jeff and I arrived separately; neither of us knowing that would be the night we would find our missing halves. We found ourselves sitting next to each other and we struck up the usually “nice to meet you” conversation. However, we both walked away knowing that this was something different!
We both went back to our hometown the following week for the holidays and when we came back had our first official date at Poe's Tavern on a Sullivan's Island. It was the beginning of our courtship! We spent the following year and a half falling in love. As we were trying to figure life out together and getting to know each other and ourselves, we decided to move to the Windy Cindy for a change of scenery. Our relationship continued to grow as we shared our ups and downs together. We loved being in the Big City and being by Jeff's family but one Chicago winter was enough to push us back below the Mason Dixon line. We threw a dart at a map...(joking) and decided to head to Florida. We eventually settled down in the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine, FL, where we presently reside.
We might not have always known where we were going, but it was never a doubt where we would end up…together!

A few other oldie but goodie pics from our "dating" days;)  Looking at these, we look so young! Wonder what I'll say over the next 6 years!

I used www.mywedding.com for our website and so everyone could keep track of all the wedding plans. The best part was that it was free and customizable....take advantage of freebies because weddings can be expensive! Here was our link: www.mywedding.com/jefflovesbrooke    It was nice to include a link on our invitations and save the dates so people could get all the little details. Websites are especially nice for destination weddings and allows your guests insight to the area and your local favorite things to do, etc.  It makes your wedding personal and fun!

Anyone planning now? Are you using a planner? Would love to hear about your experiences!  Happy Planning!

Pearls and Grace

American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God ~ monkeydoodledebAs I have started to explore other blogs and develop my reading base, I stumbled across Southern Soul Mates.  http://www.southernsoulmatesblog.com/.  I am excited to follow another Southern girl who seems real and shares my love for the South;)  I realized after I looked around her blog that I had already been following her on Pinterest....such a small world!  The Southern Belle behind the type, Cherish, shared a great giveaway to a ladies ministry in Atlanta next month and I wanted to pass along and possibly win a chance to go.  I think it would be a wonderful "bonding" trip to do with my Mom and Sisters.

Typically I am more private about my faith, but I want to develop a better relationship with God.  He blesses me everyday and I just feel inspired to share this ministry with other belles out there.  Some of my fondest childhood memories include my church days with my family but unfortunately as I have entered the adult world, I feel more distant.  Where's the time to go to church? Isn't it better to just sleep in on Sundays?  I am a good person and try to do right, but we all need a little help sometimes:)  I know you don't need to go to church to be a Christian, however I do feel it's important to have a support system and connect with others that have similar interests so that's my wish.  Anyone else feel this way? 

I have included some information on the Pearls and Grace Event on 3/16.  I hope to be able to make it and hope that other women are inspired too!  Don't forget to wear your Pearls;)
For ticket information~http://mpfbc.org/pearls-grace/

What & Who is “Pearls and Grace Ministries”
Sibi Riffer is the founder of Pearls and Grace Ministries which seeks to bring forth inner healing to the broken hearted and encourages a relationship with the Father. She is the author of the Christian blog ‘Pearls and Grace’ where she writes to taste life twice and for the hope that everyone would be set free. Sibi is the creative heart behind ‘The Pearl Event’ women’s conference which is a living, breathing expression of the Father’s heart for His daughters. She is a creative communicator and travels to churches and Women’s events where she combines sharing His word with her own tremendous personal testimony. The ministry crosses all denominational lines and barriers as love, hope, and beauty have no specific denomination. Sibi has been parenting for 22 years and is the Mother of six precious pearls and has been married for almost 12 years to her sweet man Eric.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Married Mondays"....coming to you on Tuesday. oops. Thanks to my friend, Lara, for inspiring me to feature posts on the life of a new MRS:)

Jeff and I will be married 4 months this week!  Married life has been wonderful and BuSy!   Since I switched jobs the week of our wedding, I have been working very hard to do my best with my new company.  My job requires that I am away from home 2-3 nights a week and even the nights I am at home, I am usually exhausted after traveling typically 10-12 hours in the car!  Needless to say, finding time to balance life can be a challenge.  I am usually having to do laundry, run errands, clean house, or office work when I am home.  I want to be the perfect wife and have dinner on the table but it's not working out for me!  Sales is very demanding, especially when you are someone like me and put a lot of pressure on yourself that is probably not needed! So to make sure we have time for each other, Jeff and I decided to make an effort for Mondays to be our dedicated date night:)  Just the 2 of us...We love spending time together on the weekends too, but we also enjoy having guests and going out with friends or getaways.  Mondays seem to be perfect since it's typically a day with no other obligations. It will be a nice way to start the week and after all, Marriage is a verb.  It is not something you get.  It's something you do.  It's the way you love your partner every day.  Does anyone else have a specific date night with your signicant other?  What are your fave things to do as a couple?

photo.JPGThis week our "date" night consisted of a 30 minute run.  We are both running a 1/2 marathon this April and trying to get back in the regular routine.  It seems like it should be pretty easy when it's 60 degrees out with a picture perfect sky!  I was able to snap this along the way:) Towards the end of our run last night, I challenged him that I would beat him back to the car. I thought I was seriously going to win and was moving pretty fast, BUT it's hard for my 5'4'' self to compete with him at 6'3'';)  He still bought dinner though;) 
Being so comfortable in a relationship and being able to do whatever together having fun...like running and getting sweaty is the best.  It's such a pain always having to "go out" and being dressed to impress.  I will admit, we have a love/hate running relationship....I take 1 minute breathers to walk occasionally and Jeff is telling me "come on, you're not dying".  Geez Louise.  In reality, I want to trip him because I really would like to catch my breath. lol.  I guess I need the motivation.  When we do real timed races together, we know we won't stay together, but I can count on a good luck kiss at the starting line and know he will be waiting on me at the finish with a high five!
photo.JPGTo catch up from last weekend, Jeff's parents visited us from Chicago.  They suprised Jeff to celebrate his birthday.  It was their first time to visit since we became homeowners last April so we were very excited to show them our new home.  Upon picking them up from the airport, his mom brought us our fave from the Windy City, Garrett's Popcorn:) So sweet and thoughful as always!  We headed off to Poe's Tavern at Atlantic Beach for dinner.  Sidenote: We actually had our 1st date at the Poe's on Sullivan's Island in Charleston and are SO happy there is one within an hour from us now.  We started the birthday festivities with beer flights and nachos.  Love that they had so many local brews!  www.poestavern.com

Saturday was a relaxing day visiting local shops, Sebastian Winery, and dinner at a local hotspot, O'steens....Just the best fried shrimp ever!  During our hour wait, we walked to the Bridge of Lions and caught a pretty sunset and dolphins.  For a nightcap, we they all watched a movie. I rested my eyes;) 
Sunday was Jeff's official birthday and we chose to have brunch at The Reef.  There was so much yummy food and bottomless mimosas, poinsettas, or a mix of the 2. Too many for me I guess because I forget what they called it;)  We sat on the deck and enjoyed coffee, cake, and the amazing oceanfront view after brunch. 
Jeff and his Dad took a lil stroll on the beach. Not everyday you can do that in the Midwest so they took advantage.
The rest of Sunday was a nice day of hanging out and simply enjoying each other's company.  We loved having Mom and Dad Paarlberg with us, even if it was short and sweet.  Lastly, no birthday is complete without Happy Cakes Cupcakes...Wishing my lovebug many, many more Happy Birthdays! SO blessed to share them!
Hope everyone enjoys their week and that it's filled with some Sunshine! xo~Sweet B

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blog Love

Sweet B's and Sunshine Lifestyle Blog

Welcome to Sweet B and Sunshine, a blog about everyday life and adventures:)

After inspiration from other bloggers and the social media in general, I have decided to create a blog about my life and all the ups and downs that come along with it.  One of many resolutions for 2013 included starting a blog as a way to express myself and documenting all my adventures.  I think this will be fun and a great way to reflect on life.

Always<3"Enjoy Today" - A great daily reminder to hang in any room! 20x16 poster by ESPG $ 30.
Other 2013 Goals:
~Always trying to be better today than I was yesterday..learn from mistakes and not making them again!
~Drink more water and eat healthier--this is a huge challenge for someone that spends about 2 nights a week in a hotel and on the road all the time;)
~Run my 2nd half marathon....signed up for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville my 29th birthday weekend!!
~Get back to weekend getaways with my hubby..we love exploring new places. Hopefully a Romantic honeymoon will also be part of this year's travel;)
~New Job--I was ahead of the game and made the switch with a great offer this past October
~Get more involved locally in St. Augustine-church, social events, fitness groups
~Read more...would like to be part of a book club as weird as that may sound. I am thinking fun themed parties or outings being part of it!
~Taking time to smell the coffee and enjoying each and every day!  (I tend to be a busy B)

I plan to include "Wedding Wednesdays" with a recap of our wedding this past October.  It was such a fun and magical day and the 14 months of planning, showers, and all the little details will not be left out;)  Being someone that never thought about their wedding day until they got engaged, I can't believe how much I am slightly obsessed with weddings now.  I guess that's what happens when you find Mr. Right;)  I am secretly planning a vow renewal...not really, but wouldn't that be fun!

Being a Southerner, I like to talk about nothing sometimes...that's what us Southerners do;)  I look forward to making "blog friends" and talking my day to day adventures that makes life so SWEET! 
True :)

Mint Chevron background