Having a Belle Moment!


Cheers to the North Carolina Azalea Festival going on in Wilmington this weekend! It is seriously one of the most gorgeous times of year there with all of the azaleas in bloom, and the festival always brings the fun!

I posted this photo for #tbt, and got so many funny comments! Unless you're from Wilmington or know someone from there, seeing girls in random hoop-skirt dresses seems super odd!

But, let me just tell you. Being an "Azalea Belle" is pretty much like a rite of passage for Wilmington girls. You have to be a certain age and have someone sponsor you. You get to go to these little old ladies' houses who own all of the dresses and try on a ton until you find the one-- it's totally a preview of what's to come when shopping for your wedding dress! You get assigned to certain fun events related the Azalea Festival-- I got to ride on the Henrietta with a bunch of other belles, attend the ribbon-cutting (and have an escort from the Citadel), do a photo-shoot for a local magazine, and sit in 3 beautiful gardens around Wilmington while people toured!

I had so much fun getting ready for all of the events! You get to wear bloomers and a little hair-piece so that your curls are "just right"! I do remember the hoop skirt being SO heavy, but man, that thing also makes you look so skinny! And, I absolutely loved my dress. 

 I love being a Wilmingtonian, and I love tradition. Getting to be an Azalea Belle was definitely a highlight of my time growing up there!


Check you out, Seattle ;) Part 2


Happy Almost-Friday! Good gravy, I do not know what I did to hurt my back, but it is hurting like whoaaaa, and I've been sentenced to an evening on the couch. Henceforth (is that even a word!?) I bring you Part 2 of our Seattle trip recappage (again...did I make that word up!?).

Catch up on Part 1 here :)

Let's just jump right in to where I left off...


Weather-- partly cloudy in the AM, sunny during midday, and back to cloudy late afternoon (make up your mind, Seattle!)

Activities-- quick breakfast-to-go from Macrina Bakery, tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory (so cool!), ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island (McDreamy-style...please tell me there are still some Grey's Anatomy fans still out there!), wine-tasting at Island Vintners (I got a little tipsy, aka very giggly..whoops!), window-shopped around the island while looking for a place to eat, appetizers and drinks (not for me!) at Harbour Public House, ferried back home, played a little Tock, walked around Queen Anne to our delicious dinner at How to Cook a Wolf, back home for more Tock!

Highlights-- getting to sample all of the chocolates at Theo (they were so generous!), the beautiful ferry-ride, us meeting and B&B reconnecting with the sweetest owner of Island Vintners--I cannot remember her name, but she was SO much fun and had personality for days, all of our tipsy laughs and jokes (papayas, anyone!?) and our dinner at How to Cook a Wolf (the food was phenomenal!)

I really recommend starting your day off with chocolate!
Oh, those hair nets! Keeping your chocolate hair-free...you're welcome very much!
1 of the many samples we got! Beebs and I always picked the BIGGEST ones out! #noshame
We're practically chocolate experts now ;)

I loved our tour guide! She was very bubbly and funny!
Get ya some! 

Sunglasses, say what!? Finally popped them out on Day 3! And, nice photo bomb, Kyle!
Beautiful view of Seattle from our ferry!
#wind #baddayforbangs

Glasses are always half full @ Island Vintners
Love my Beebsies!
Gangs all here :)

Perfect end to a fabulous day!


Weather-- Perfectly sunny, perfectly beautiful, perfect, perfect, perfect! 1st Day that Mt. Rainier was visible!

Activities-- Preface--B&B both had to work on Mon. & Tues., so Kyle and I were on our own during the day! Here's what we did-- walked around Queen Anne and stopped for a pic with Mt. Rainier at Kerry Park, breakfast @ Macrina Bakery (again!), walked from B&B's house to the area near the Space Needle, took a video in front of the fountain to send Beebs because her best friend, the sun,was out,  had lunch at Skillet Corner in the Armory near the Space Needle (think a food court but with all super delicious, organic-y, non-chainy restaurants), went up to the top of the Space Needle (face-timed with all of our parents, sent lots of pics to B&B, tried to spot Dudley!), toured the Chihuly Garden and Glass right beside the space needle (Ah-mazing! All of the glass art was done by 1 artist), walked to Olympic park and relaxed in the sun, revisited Pike Place and actually got to go into the original Starbucks and get a pierogi (think delicious stuffed pastries--some sweet, some savory...pick your poison!), took our first "by-ourselves-Uber" back to B&B's home, played Tock, and had dinner at Via Tribunali again (and, yes, we had the Mezza Luna again, and, yes, I failed to snap a pic of it again!), ended the night with more Tock (the competition was heating up!).

Highlights-- Honestly the whole day! The weather was so beautiful, and you could just tell that everyones' moods were instantly lifted! We had so much fun exploring the city and getting to come home to more good company with our friends. A truly perfect day!

Nice of you to come out to play, Mt. Rainier!


We tried to zoom in on Kerry Park, where we assumed Dudley spends his days with his cat friends ;)

Photos below are all from Chihuly Garden & Glass 

Dale Chihuly, the American glass sculptor
Olympic Monument Park 
It was definitely a "sit back and relax" kinda day :)
Hey again, Pike Place!

One of the pierogis we got!
Hot Choc @ the Org. Starbucks

Dudley was totally on the girls team in Tock!
Tuesday: Our Last Day :(

Weather-- Another gorgeous day! Sunshine and great temps!

Activities-- drove over to Capitol Hill for brunch at Volunteer Park Cafe & Marketplace (had the BEST BBQ sandwich and coleslaw this Southern girls has ever tasted!), visited the Bottleworks bottle shop so Kyle could stock up on some West Coast beer, picked up some cupcakes from Trophy cupcakes for a "good-bye" treat for B&B, drove over to the Ballard area and did some window-shopping (I picked up a little journaly-guest book for B&B to document all of their fun with their visitors while in Seattle), revisited Hot Cakes for 1 last mug cake (stayed a while and worked on document our visit in the journal for B&B), headed back home to Queen Anne to walk around and visit some of the cute stores (our favorite was the Blue Highway Game Store, where you could pick out any game, grab a drink, and sit at their back table where they'd teach you to play! We bought some marbles for B&B to replace some of the Tock marbles that Dudley ate we lost!), hit up the Trader Joes for some cheese and crackers and headed to Kerry Park for an afternoon snack, headed to Pesos for pre-dinner drinks and apps w/ B&B after they finished work, had our "good-bye, Seattle" at Toulouse Petit (fitting, considering we had our first meal there, too!), had our last Molly Moon's ice-cream (waffle cones hit the spot!), and finished out our Tock tournament (boys won, but technically they forfeited for reasons I shall not mention (hehe, Beebs!). Perfect end to a perfect trip. 

Highlights-- just having a relaxing day in Seattle that kind of felt like something we'd do if we actually lived there (not as touristy!), cheese and crackers at Kerry Park, and everything about our last evening with B&B!

Volunteer Park Cafe & Marketplace
Seriously amazing.
I even asked for the ingredient for Mama Lil's coleslaw...it was THAT good!

Back of the Cafe...where they keep their chickens and grow their own produce....one of the many things I love about Seattle!
Kid in a candy shop.

Hot Cakes selfie
Too good. 
Man Crush.
Park bench treats.
What a view! #KerryPark

Love me some panos

Funny Story-- I mentioned that we had gone to the game store to get some marbles for B&B. Well, B & B had also gone to the game store on their way home from work, and look at that! Beebs and I literally picked out some of the exact same marbles!  
Trophy Cupcakes...yum yum!
Sorry, Dud :(
Last group pic at Pesos.
Toulouse Petit. Best last meal!

And sadly, on Wednesday morning, we woke up and said our good-byes :(

We were SO sad to go!

It was seriously one of the most fun trips of our lives, and we LOVED getting to reunite with B&B and explore their new city! We have lots of love for Seattle, and even more love for B&B!
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