Weekend Highlights + Gift Guide: For Him

Thanksgiving 2015 was a huge success and has me still smiling my way through a cold, dreary Monday! We spent the past 5 days enjoying our loved ones, cooking family recipes, creating new traditions, and making memories that we will cherish forever. We've enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving at our home the past 2 years but this one was one for the books. Preparing Thanksgiving for 27 people was a bit different than the 9 people that we hosted last year but everything came together seamlessly and we were enjoying all our favorite dishes by 1:30pm.
We braved the crowds on Friday and the ladies spent the morning shopping and enjoying brunch at one of my favorite spots in Cameron Village, Tupelo Honey Cafe, while the guys broke out their sticks and headed to the golf course. I found great deals on a few items at the local boutiques in the area but I am excited to finish most of my Christmas shopping today with the Cyber Monday sales. What sales do you have your eye on?

Saturday was spent tailgating at Carter Finley Stadium for the last time in 2015, I can't believe football season is already coming to an end. Does anyone else feel the same way?! This particular game is always one of my favorite match-ups each season, NC State Wolfpack versus UNC Tarheels.
The intensity of the game is driven by the universities' similar size, the short distance between the 2 universities {25 miles} and we are both part of the infamous Tobacco Road Rivalry which includes NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke. It doesn't help that I graduated from NC State and my sister graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill so the family rivalry is just as big in our eyes as the actual rivalry!
Speaking of tailgates, I have rounded up a few of my favorite gifts for the men that enjoy hosting a fun yet well-prepared tailgate like my husband.
1. I have recently stumbled upon a few subscription boxes for men while Christmas shopping this year and I am obsessed! Mantry's Tailgate Tour box is one of my favorites.

2. No tailgate is complete without entertainment. Being able to watch all the other games before cheering on your hometown team is the perfect excuse to order DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket.

3. Finding a cooler that can fit everything you need for a tailgate party was impossible to find until we purchased our first Yeti Tundra Cooler. An added bonus, you won't ever have to worry about your ice melting during a hot, summer day.

4. Olly Oxen Belts are the best way to dress up {or down} your tailgate attire. I was an Olly Oxen Representative during their first few years, it was a pleasure to work for Charlotte and her two brothers. They are the sweetest family!

5. To add to the entertainment, the UE Megaboom Speaker would be all you need to play your favorite tailgate playlist.

I'll leave you with a final laugh about the Thanksgiving holiday with this hard to beat Mashup by The Holderness Family. I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving!

Gift Guide: For Her

Oh, Monday...you always come so quickly! TC was out of town this weekend for a golf tournament so I spent Friday and Saturday catching up with girlfriends and browsing my favorite stores in Raleigh. All the shops were decorated for Christmas and were smelling like a fresh Frasier Fir, I was in heaven. With only 39 days until one of my favorite Holidays, I was excited to start my Christmas shopping a little earlier than I typically do.

I'm sharing a few of my gift guides for all those amazing women in our lives that enjoy playing dress up or hostess with the mostest. I will be back later this week with a few more gift guides for him. :)
1. Who doesn't love a subscription box for a gift? Stitch Fix is always a great option for someone that enjoys the convenience of receiving a few new stylish items on their door step.

2. My heart skips a beat every time I see these beautiful Lisi Lerch Tassel Earrings online or in a local shop. These are the perfect way to put a little sass in your evening outfit!

3. I can't create a gift guide without including my favorite go-to GiGi Clutch. I'll take one of each color, please! :)

4. Hello, gorgeous! The hand-beaded Roarke scarf was made to dress up a neutral blouse or dress, it is the perfect accessory that is on the top of my wishlist this holiday season.

5. After playing dress up, I find myself counting down the minutes until I can slip into comfy pajamas and curl up on the couch for the rest of the evening. Lake Pajamas were made for Sunday morning snuggles.
1. I have a weakness for any {and every} coffee table book, they are such a special gift especially if you write a personalized note inside so they can always remember the special occasion.

2. A simple yet practical way to present cheese and crackers at your next cocktail party. I love this unique serving board!

3. For the fish lovers in your life, a cedar grilling plank paired with a fish spatula and a sprig of thyme. Easy!

4. The Zodax Fez Cut Tumbler Glass Set is the easiest way to spruce up any bar cart.

5. Treat the Host and/or Hostess to a relaxing date night at Sur la Table with a cooking class and a bottle of wine to enjoy together. This is my kind of Friday night!

6. You can't go wrong with fresh flowers and a beautiful vase. I love, love, love our Vietri Incanto White Pleated Vase.

Happy Shopping, sweet friends! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Chalk Travels: Recapping our 1st Anniversary Trip

Happy Friday Eve! I have sat down to write this post at least 3 times yet something distracts me and I have yet to hit publish. Today is the day though, I am excited to share the most relaxing and beautiful Anniversary weekend that was spent in Asheville, North Carolina. For those of you that are from North Carolina, you realize how breathtaking the views can be in September and this weekend was no exception. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, the mornings and evenings were a crisp 50 or so degrees and the leaves were beginning to change to their fall colors. Oh my, it was gorgeous!

We treated ourselves and stayed at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, which is designed to look and feel like a European hunting lodge with the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop. The entire staff was incredible from the moment that we pulled up to when we were walking out the door on Sunday, they truly made the experience complete. Let's just say, this happy Bride didn't have a {single} care in the world during our time there.
On Saturday, we spent the day at the Biltmore Estate! The Biltmore is the family home of the Vanderbilts that is a marvel of elegance and charm. George Vanderbilt wanted the home to be a French Renaissance chateau with 250 rooms for his family and friends to enjoy. We took a tour of the home which is filled with the family's vintage clothing, accessories, art, furniture and so much more.
We strolled acres upon acres of gardens where I found myself snapping pictures every few seconds. I am confident that their team of landscapers and horticultural experts must stay {very} busy because the beauty of the grounds and gardens is breathtaking. Lunch and a wine tasting were next on our list so we drove to Antler Hill Village to sip, eat and relax. I still find myself craving the Pimento Cheese, Green Tomato, Bacon with Pesto Aioli sandwich from Cedric's Tavern. It sounds divine, right?!  
Saturday night, I slipped back into my Rehearsal Dinner dress and dusted off my Wedding Day shoes for dinner at the Red Stag Grill because it was time to celebrate 365 days of marriage to my handsome husband! Every day I am thankful that "I have found the one whom my soul loves." TC - Thank you for making me a better woman, wife, sister, daughter and friend. I am so proud to be your wife!
Following dinner, it was time to open presents! The suspense was killing me because as you know from this post we were going to exchange traditional gifts. TC is always thoughtful and creative in his gift giving so I knew that he was going to do something that I would never expect {which he did}. He created a list of Chalk Adventures that included about 10 trips and events that we've talked about doing over the years. From the list, he asked me to guess which event or trip was the one that he had already planned for us. Have no fear, my very first guess was correct...he purchased tickets and we are going to Nashville, TN for the CMA Music Festival in June! We are huge country music fans so I was in complete shock. I am already counting down the days until we are listening to all of our favorite artists from sun up to sun down!

It was hard to top that but I was still really excited to share the gifts that I had gotten us. Months before our anniversary, I had narrowed down my paper options to three for a gift that was going to be for both of us. After a lot of thought, I decided to go with the Custom Painted Wedding Invitation Keepsake and it turned out beautiful! I will have it framed and hung on the wall soon.
TC is not only a huge country music fan, he is also a huge fan of NASCAR. He has grown up going to races with his family and he now has me attending 1 or 2 every year. Who would have thought?! :) So it only seemed fitting that I gave him a ticket for the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Charlotte. He will be in the driver's seat of a NASCAR race car for 8 laps!    

What a special weekend to celebrate an even more special year for us. Our journey has just begun and I can't wait to see what is in store for us!