2013…A Year in Review

2013-2014-sand (1)

With 2013 coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on the year. I sure have been blessed beyond measure!

January:  Matt and I started 2013 with a bang! As part of my Christmas present, Matt surprised me with a trip to Chicago to to attend my sister and brother-in-laws annual New Years Eve party. The entire weekend was perfect and we had such a great time exploring the city together. To top off a perfect weekend, we were able to catch the Gamecocks win (and Clowney knock off someones head) their bowl game against Michigan in the airport on the way back to Charlotte…

February: The surprises of January carried over into February with a surprise 25th birthday party that Matt threw me. Isn’t he just the best? I walked into his apartment thinking we were going to watch the Super Bowl. To my surprise, almost all of my best friends and family were packed into Matt’s apartment waiting for me to get there. It was one of the moments that I felt intensely loved and crazy lucky to have such amazing people in my life.

March: For Easter we headed down to Matt’s grandparents lake house in Westville, FL. Lake Victor sits right on the border of Florida and Alabama and is a place that is incredibly important to Matt. For one, his beloved Mimi lives there. I had heard many stories about Mimi and talked to her on the phone, but had never met her in person until this Easter trip. Second, the lake is extremely tranquil and peaceful and really forces you to relax and disconnect. I cherish the time I was able to spend with Mimi (and the rest of Matt’s family)

April: In April I jet set again to Key West, FL to celebrate #KeyWhit — my sisters bachelorette party. The “last fling before the ring” was an amazing few days spent in paradise with all of Whitney’s closest friends. Let me tell you, Key West is FUN! It’s super relaxed and laid back, but a town that likes to have a good time. Word to the wise…GRAIN TRAIN from Flying Monkey’s!

May: The biggest event of our entire year took place in May. My sister married her sweetheart, Bob. The wedding was the most amazing event I’ve ever been to. It was so incredibly perfect that I truly felt like I was in a movie the entire time. The venue, the food, the decor, and the friends and family made it a memory our family will cherish forever. My sister was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen her and she was radiating happiness the entire day. And even though he does drive me crazy sometimes, it’s pretty awesome I now have a brother!

June: I was able to cross off a bucket item list in June — Crash a Wedding. Matt and I and a few friends spent a long weekend in beautiful Daufuskie Island, a private island right off of Hilton Head. Daufuskie is perfectly serene and the best place to go off the grid and get away from life. We had a hilarious few days being lazy and enjoying the sun. On our last night there we drank enough whiskey to muster up the courage needed to crash a wedding that was taking place on the island. We went as far as to order drinks and get some appetizers before we politely asked to leave the premises. Oops!

July: The travel bug hit again and we packed up and headed to Chicago to spend a patriotic 4th of July with my sister and her husbands family. There is never a dull moment with that crew and we are so lucky to only be an 1.5 plane ride away from such an amazing city!

August:  One Sunday in August, Matt and I went to church thinking it was a normal Sunday. However, our lives were about to forever change after a powerful sermon which we both decided to be baptized. We both were baptized as small children, but wanted to do it again to affirm that the decision was ours, and not our parents. Being baptized was the most pure and holy moment I have ever experienced.  I went under with all of my sin, regrets, embarrassments, ugliness and unworthiness. But was washed by the water…revived and RAISED TO LIFE. Hallelujah!

September:  In September we took the trip of a lifetime to Spain! Matt had a work trip and I was lucky enough to tag-along. Having never left the country before, this was a huge trip full of adventure and excitement. Traveling internationally gives you such a different perspective on life and on people. It is a memory and an opportunity that I will cherish forever.

November:  In November my family took a road trip to Waynesboro, VA — my birth place and home of my grandparents, aunts and uncles. Matt joined us for the trip and I was happy he was able to see where I’m from. My sister and Bob flew down to meet us which was a nice treat. We went to the UVA vs. Clemson football game and drank a little too much moonshine, oops. Lucky for me, my grandparents happen to love moonshine (and Limoncello) just as much as we do! It was a great weekend spent with family and close friends.

December: This month has been a whirlwind with end-of-year deadlines, shopping, trips, and holiday parties, but am so thankful for the year that I’ve had. I am so thankful for my wonderful family, dear friends, my health, my career and my faith.


Cheers to 2014 and the opportunities and memories that lie ahead!


What were Charlotteans buying for Christmas in 1963?

What were Charlotteans buying for Christmas 50 years ago? Henny Penny Egg Nog, bongo drums, seamless nylon stockings, and $23 Lenox china! Take a look at these Observer ads from December 1963. Compiled by News Researcher Maria David

china egg lebo turkeys


Christmas Surcee’s

Don’t get me wrong, I love holiday parties. There’s nothing like a strong glass of Eggnog and sausage balls to alert you that Christmas is here! But I often get stressed out over what to bring the hostess….this week I have two ornament exchanges to attend. Again, cue stress. To me, ornaments are very personal. Maybe it’s my OCD, Type-A personality, but I’m very picky about what goes on my tree. I assume that others operate under this same principle, so choosing an ornament for someone else’s tree proves difficult.

My sister recently opened an adorable Etsy shop, Surcee Monogram Shop.  I knew I wanted to incorporate a few of her products to help put a personalized touch on my Christmas surcee’s. This time of year is super busy. So not only did I need a cute idea, but something easy (and cheap!).

I purchased flat, clear ornament balls (on sale for $1.00 each), red glitter paint ($4) and the 1.5″ vinyl initials from Surcee Monogram Shop ($3.50). I took the red glitter paint and swirled it around in the ornament. Doesn’t get much easier than that. You do have to be careful with how the paint dries. Once the entire ball is coated in paint, be sure to drain any excess paint from the ornament. I propped my ornaments upright to dry which seemed to work best. The ones I let lay on their sides ended up drying funky.

The first ornament I made is for an engagement shower I’m attending this weekend. I have to say I’m a little obsessed. The instructions were to bring the newly engaged couple an ornament they could use on their first tree as a couple. Nothing says Christmas in Dixie like having your new married monogram displayed proudly on your tree. For under $10, this is a personalized gift that I hope the couple will love forever.

I also have a Junior League ornament exchange this week. The problem with a gift exchange is that you don’t know who will end up with your ornament. That being the case, it’s impossible to use someone’s initials. I chose to use the Junior League logo since it is an organization that is important to all of the ladies who will be at the party.

photo (11)


So what do you bring when the party is not an ornament exchange? Surcee Monogram Shop has other adorable hostess gifts. I love the Monogrammed Christmas Wine Bags. They are functional and also perfectly preppy.




Surcee Monogram Shop is offering 10% off all products thru the end of the year. Use coupon code DILWORTH10 at checkout to receive the discount!

DIY Peppermint Initial Wreath

I don’t know about you, but I’m more in the holiday spirit this year than ever before. I think it has something to do with the fact that there is a week less to celebrate, so I’m overcompensating. Anyways, I saw this adorable wreath on the Two Twenty One blog. A craft project that requires minimal amounts of materials AND candy….sign me up!


– Letter of your choice: I used a wooden letter H, but you can use paper mache, etc.

– Red paint

– Peppermints

– Red Ribbon

– Wreath Hanger

I started  by painting my letter red. I chose a dark red paint so that the bright red of the peppermints would pop. I used cheap craft paint because I live in a condo with an interior door. For those of you who have an exterior door, you might want to use a Rustoleum to protect it against the winter elements.

Next you might want to recruit a helper Elf to assist you in unwrapping all the peppermints…Then lay out all of the peppermints on the letter to make sure the spacing looks right. Once I had an idea of where I wanted them all, I used a glue gun to attach the peppermints. I think you could probably use Elmer’s glue as well.

photo (10)

The next step was to glue the red ribbon to the back of the letter and finish with a bow.

 Note: I first used a suction cup to hang my wreath. After all of 10 seconds of the wreath being up, it fell, hit the ground and looked like this….yikes!

photo (8)

Advice: Use the 3M Command Strips. They are cheap, and easy to apply. Plus they make it really easy to remove them with no damage when you’re ready.