a Literary Bachelorette Party

A Literary Bachelorette Party

OK so this is the post I have BY FAR been the most excited to write about – the bachelorette party. My sister, Abigail, who was also my maid of honor made sure she quite outdid herself by throwing the most fun, exciting, and (mostly) clean bachelorette party there ever was. It was the perfect way to start off wedding week, so I can’t wait to relive it with you here today!

Anyone who knows me I love three things: books, coffee, and music my mother never let me listen to in high school.

Abigail kicked me out of my own house the evening of the bachelorette party so she could decorate. Although we were hitting the town of Asheville for the main portion of our evening, she wanted to make sure the final portion of the night was still cute and fabulous. I got ready for the evening while she decorated the house with some of my friends. She had printed out several engagement photos of Pai and myself and pasted them onto the walls of our living room. Being the sentimental sap I am, I kept them up for so long that Pai finally said, “People think we have a shrine to ourselves. It’s time to take them down.” #truth

To begin the night, Abigail booked us a reservation at Zombra’s in Asheville, NC. Zombras is a tapas and wine bar. We each could pick out about two appetizers each and shared among each other and oh. my. goodness. The food was amazing. Abigail, being the cute and crafty thinker she is, made place cards for everyone to sit at. I loved Zombras because we were seated in a corner booth and there were pillows everywhere. It definitely had a Spanish but hipster vibe going on, and the mood lighting and our corner made it the perfect little dinner getaway.

a literary bachelorette party

After dinner, a couple of the girls distracted me while Abigail went to set up the next part of the evening. We walked around Asheville until we found The Chocolate Fetish, my favorite chocolate store in the city. The Chocolate Fetish serves truffles, so went in to peruse the offers and I found a truffle called “The African Queen,” so of course a couple of my friends surprised me with one.

a literary bachelorette party

We finally caught up with Abigail at my favorite place in the world – The Battery Parks Book Exchange. This is a fun bookstore in Asheville that I’m obsessed with. They have a bar that serves wine, beer, literary cocktails, and coffee. The carpet is a fun bright red color (think Edgar Allen Poe red) and the bookcases are dark black. It’s a two story bookstore, but with a split level as well, with lots of seating areas. You can bring your dogs and just sit and read and sip on whatever beverage you like for the afternoon. So Abigail had coordinated with the bookstore to host a lounge party in a cornered off section of the bookstore.

But someone else was hosting their own party – the Santas. At the bookstore on this particular night there was a Santa Con festival. There were drunk Santas, drunk reindeers, drunk elves, drunk Christmas fairies EVERYWHERE. When we got into the bookstore and ordered our drinks, the server said, “Are you the bachelorette party? I’ve never been so happy to see a bachelorette party in my life.” We were very tame.

3

Abigail set the mood for the lounge party with cute decor and fun games. We played a game where I had to guess what answers Pai wrote down for certain questions and if I lost, then I had to eat a jelly bean. But it wasn’t any old jelly bean, it was Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans. Y’all HP fans raise your hands if you know what I’m talking about. I ate dirty gym sock, dog food, and spoiled milk. BLEGH.

She had also compiled everyone’s favorite quotes from their favorite books and had each of them read their quotes and why they chose it. As an avid lover of books and all things inspirational, I was definitely a fan. Abigail even made gift bags for all the bridesmaids and she was so thoughtful with each thing she put in the bag – a note book for memories, a paperweight with our initial & wedding date so they could remember to pray for us whenever they saw it, tissues for crying, a face mask, and more!

The bookstore closed at 11, so we had to leave but the party wasn’t over. We drove the whole way home with 2000s hip hop blasting and me rapping along to every word.

When we got back to my house, Abigail poured out more food. There was chocolate covered strawberries and assortments of fruit, and chocolate candy which they had to put into certain molds that I never approved of. . . But it was all in good fun.

a literary bachelorette party

We ate more, giggled more, and I opened a few gifts they gave me for after the wedding. Abigail’s intent was for us to watch a girly bridesmaid movie, but by the time we were done with everything it was 3, almost 4am and I had fallen asleep on the couch.

I woke up the next morning feeling groggy for all the best reasons. It was officially wedding week, so Abigail, my friend who stayed with me to help me out with last minute wedding chores, and I christened the week by drinking coffee all day and watching The Notebook.

a literary bachelorette party

Advice for future brides: don’t watch The Notebook the week of your wedding when you’ve only had 4 hours of sleep because you will sob uncontrollably. Part of it is because the movie is sad. Part of it is because your motions are whacko.

All in all, it was the most fun I think I’ve ever had, and it was the best day of my life up until December 10th. :)

a literary bachelorette party

Learning to Lean

learning-to-lean

If Emily can pull off a wedding with Ross in exactly six weeks, then by goodness I can get my act together for the next two months.

I’m not going to lie, I love talking about the wedding planning process. I look at it this way: I’m only going to get married once, so I’m going to enjoy this planning process. Yes, there have been tears, yes I have been eating french fries on the reg, yes I stress ate a cupcake in 3 bites last week, but I’m fine. We’re fine. The wedding is going to be spectacular even though sometimes I fall asleep at night with buyer’s remorse about the whole Christmas theme.

Speaking of the whole Christmas theme, I’m getting married in December. Christmas is my favorite holiday. Twinkle lights are romantic, and why wouldn’t anybody want to put all the wedding gifts under an elegant Christmas tree rather than on a table? It didn’t start out Christmas themed, but then I realized the other day it morphed into it. It matches my personality. I was listening to Christmas music in September.

I love this wedding planning process so much that I have a hard time delegating. I want to savor the moment, I want to do all the things. I also want to eat all the bacon. I’m not pregnant; like I said, I stress eat.

Remember when Pai and I decided to plan our wedding in the busiest work season for both of us? Yeah, that was a great idea. Granted, if I could go back and talk to 22 year old Nina, I would tell her no differently, because neither of us want a long engagement. Now that we’re down to just a few days under 2 months, I can’t even imagine not getting married to Pai in December.

learning to lean

I’m learning dependency. I’m learning to delegate. And I’m learning to stop saying sorry. Yesterday my mother in law, mom, and sisters gathered around my dining room table and helped me address 200+ invitations. And my MOH ran her first wedding errands: to find a post office that sold more than jack o’lantern stamps. And she designed return address labels, because who thinks of return address labels when you’re focused on the cute little Mr & Mrs stamp and ink pad? Not me. I am increasingly thankful in this increasingly busy season for the people who have surrounded me for years. You go your whole life surrounded by your support system, taking them for granted until you truly need people.

That is why it is so important to say thank you. I never want a day to go by where the people I love have to question my gratitude and love for them.

Momma, you’re a rock. You drive 4 hours round trip multiple times in a month just to eat a cupcake with me, or to go to one of my 8 dress fittings (it turns out my dress was originally a size TWENTY, not an 18. S/o to my seamstress.) and talking wedding to me on the phone almost every single day.

My MOH, you make up poems for bachelorette parties and help me with the dishes. You also designed my return labels which I’m just fascinated by, and you keep me from pulling out my eyebrows. Please just move in with Pai and me. Kidding. I love you, but not in the first year at least. 😉

My sweet MIL – God knew I would need a mother-in-law who I could love like a mom. She teaches me all the traditions and proprieties I don’t know yet in their culture, and she’s a great sounding board.

And Pai. . . you talk sense into me, you give the bests hugs, and you help me clean the house when I’m frantic before we have people come over. Boom. Husband Material. (Also you’re cute. So YAY.)

Who is your support system? Send them a note of encouragement today! I’m just going to send my people the blog post. #promotingtheblog

 

Monthly Link Up: April Showers!

April Showers

Grab the button below and come back here to link up with the Blogging Elite on April 26th with any post from April!

grab button for Hugs and Lattes

<div class=”hugs-and-lattes-button” style=”width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;”>
<a href=”http://www.hugsandlattes.com/april-showers/” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>
<img src=”http://i354.photobucket.com/albums/r427/ninawilliamson93/April%20Showers_zpsalmyqgc3.jpg” alt=”Hugs and Lattes” width=”200″ height=”300″ />
</a>
</div>

5 (Last Minute) Valentine’s Dates

hugs and lattes

A few weeks ago, Jon, my manicurist (I have a manicurist now! I pay $20 to this guy to redo the Shellac on my nails. He won me over a few weekends ago by telling me I looked like a Supermodel. I was having a particularly horrible weekend and anyone who flatters me can have my money. This is why I try to avoid the vendors at the mall.) asked me if I was getting any bling bling from the boyfriend next month. I thought, “Great, here’s another person who is asking me if I’m engaged. NOT. YET.” But he meant is the boyfriend giving me jewelry for Valentine’s Day. And I was like, Valentine’s Day? Oh yeah. . . I forgot about that. He was shocked we didn’t even have plans yet and I was thinking, bro, it’s only January 31. But then February 7 came along and Pai was mourning the Panther’s loss and Valentine’s Day was still unspoken between us. I said, “Well I’ll be grieving if we don’t do anything fun for Valentine’s Day next week.” And he said “Okay.” And then we went on with our lives.

The truth is, I don’t really like Valentine’s Day. Those Chocolate hearts with assorted truffles are 75% gross, and then I feel pressured to do something sweet/romantic/buy something.

And the other truth is, I actually really like it when people are sweet/romantic/buy me something as long as it’s not those nasty assorted truffles. Just buy a bag of Andes Mints, Hershey Kisses, and Reeces Cups and then I’ll be happy. If you buy me a book from my Amazon wishlist, I’ll be like HECK YES and kiss you. But only if you’re Pai.***MAJOR HINT RIGHT HERE, FOR THE BOYFRIEND WHO READS MY BLOG***

I’m actually a pretty creative person, if I do say so myself. I blame Pinterest. But sometimes Pinterest can be overwhelming, so I’ve compiled the perfect dates for you to pull off last minute. Ladies, just send this blog on over to your man and tell him to read the bold print. These are so easy, a caveman can do it. Bonus: They’re inexpensive. Because I’m not a millionaire and dating a grad student, who is also not a millionaire.

–> Blanket Fort of Love <–

Gather all the blankets in your apartment and hang them all up with nails, or just drape them over a table and put pillows underneath. Get a funny movie she’s been wanting to watch lately, or read a book together. Bring take out Chinese into the blanket fort of love and boom. You’ve spent $10 on a date and it was creative.

–> Hiking/Picnic <–

This year, Valentine’s day is on a Sunday, so you have time to pull off a quick little hike. Bundle up in some fleece, grab a blanket and a picnic basket full of goodies. Bonus points if you (the man) make the sandwiches. Your lady will be like, “Thanks for not being sexist. Wow, these are the best sandwiches a man has ever made. You’re the best. I’m going to kiss you a lot now.”

–> A Spa Day <–

You know your girl is stressed out. She works so hard at work/school and then she comes home and has to watch Netflix/clean/blog (if she’s a blogger.) Nothing would make her heart happier than if you either a) send her to a spa day or b) give her a spa day. A little back massage can go a loooooong way. She’ll love you forever and then you can be like, “Thanks for sending me that post from Hugs and Lattes. Maybe we should read her blog together everyday?” And she’ll say, “Yes! That’s all I’ve ever wanted from you!” And I’ll say, Thanks, you guys are the best.

–> Wine and Dine Her <–

Who cooks more in the relationship? You? Her? If it’s her, then send your female friend over the moon by cooking her a favorite meal. Flip through a cookbook, or if you’re brave enough, peruse through Pinterest or Stumbleupon. Clean up the dishes afterwards and you’re golden until next week when she wants you to put in the effort to pull off another date.

–> Scavenger Hunts!! <–

I’m a huge fan of the Scavenger hunt. One time, my mom sent my prom date and I on a scavenger hunt after prom because she thought our idea to go back home and watch a movie was lame. It was the best scavenger hunt ever even though we trespassed property, set off the intruder alarm, and probably almost got arrested. Boyfriends/fiances/husbands, don’t send your wifey somewhere she may get arrested. But do send her on a scavenger hunt around the place you’ve been/places that have significance. aka your first date. aka where you had your first kiss. aka where you had your first fight and she almost broke up with you but you cried so she decided not to. Just kidding, don’t go there. But seriously, scavenger hunts are fun.

Fellas, I’ve just given you 5 great ideas to pull off last minute (minus the scavenger hunt. That may take some preparation) Valentine’s Date ideas and guess what! It’s only Wednesday. That means you still have half a week to ruminate on how you’re going to woo your lady.

Let me make this clear: I don’t care if you’ve been dating two weeks or two years or have been married twenty years. Woo. Your. Lady. Woo your lady every chance you get. She wants to be wooed. Even if she says “nahh let’s just sit back and eat a pizza” maybe she’s just tired! Still. Woo her.

Ladies, you’re welcome.

 

How to Survive the Snow for Dayz

Hugs and Lattes

Prepare

Make sure you have a new Netflix show to binge watch. Or an old one. I hate trying on new shows, but may I suggest a few old good ones like Grey’s Anatomy or Friends?

Stock up on the necessities: Books. Find 3 new books you’ve wanted to take the time to read. Congratulations! The universe has granted you unlimited time for days. Over the snow days this past week I read Memoirs of a Geisha and Kite Runner. Excellent novels.

Get the eggs, milk, and bread.

I have no idea why other than the fact that snow days give you lots of time to bake. Like Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake!” Or brownies, banana bread, cake.

Don’t be alone.

If not for the sheer fact you might go stir crazy. I woke up on Wednesday morning at 6:30 to start getting ready for work, checked my phone, and to my delight discovered there was no such thing as work for me on that Wednesday. I was so excited I couldn’t even go back to sleep. I pulled out of my apartment’s driveway just as the snow began to settle on the roads to spend the day with Pai and his family. And then I didn’t sleep in my own apartment again until the following Sunday night. If I had been by myself in my own apartment all those days. . .

Entertain yourself

We played five games of Settlers of Catan over those snow days. That is ten to twelve hours of strategery and I don’t know how my brain computed. Granted, I lost every single time.

Lots and lots of drinking

Coffee, that is. On Wednesday I treated myself to my favorite latte from my favorite coffee shop that I don’t get to visit too often anymore because it’s way out of my way nowadays. Pai lives only five minutes away from this place, though, so before I went to his house I drove on past towards the coffee shop to treat myself to a “Single Lady-” Jamaican Rum, Irish Cream and Chocolate in a latte. But then as I was walking up the hill to Pai’s house, I tripped and fell and have two awesome bruises on my knee that I’m sporting and no latte in my cup anymore. I almost cried. Pai suggested I look up how to make lattes from home so I spent the last 5 days perfecting the frothy milk a la homemade latte. This of course took a lot of coffee drinking.

And enough pictures to stock up for the rest of winter

Take enough pictures so you don’t forget that you spent five days away from responsibilities and with your books and not showering. Because goodness knows Instagram had no idea that it was snowing outside.

snow dayz snow dayz

snow dayz

 

We’ve already got one wave of snow down for the winter. . . I hear they’re calling for more snow this weekend though. . .