Happy Monday readers!

This weekend was the perfect combination of fun socializing and relaxation!

Friday night we had a surprise birthday party for Bryce's best friend CWC.  CWC's girlfriend (GSS) had been planning with me for the last few weeks and Bryce and I were an integral part of the process.

I'll give you some background details...

CWC turns 25 today.  Strangely enough, his office is undergoing renovations so all last week he had to work from home.  This was a problem, being that the surprise party was at HIS APARTMENT.  In comes Bryce!  GSS asked him if he would take off work early Friday to entertain CWC for the afternoon.  He agreed and picked CWC up around 4:00 pm to head to G-Force Carts to race go karts.

GSS and I ran errands all afternoon and then headed to CWC's after 4!

Once there, we unloaded the car (lugging cases of a beer, a table, ladder, cooler, and food) up the stairs to his apartment.  We decorated and set up like crazy.  (Sadly, I was so busy that I didn't snap pictures of all the decorations).

The guests began to arrive around 6:30 and we had given Bryce directions to drop CWC off between 6:45 and 7:00.  Bryce was supposed to text me when he was getting close so we would know to all get quiet for his entrance.  Well--Bryce was MIA!  We couldn't get ahold of him and were getting really worried!  GSS did her best to text CWC and figure out where he was without being obvious.  When he knew he was a few minutes away we turned off all the lights and got silent (this was very hard for some of the 20ish attendees).

Still no word from Bryce.

THEN..we heard the door open and close, but no one came up the stairs.  In my head I was thinking CWC had figured out it was a surprise party and was waiting for all of us to start talking again.  Finally, GSS, peeked down the stairs and no one was there.  Turns out, it was one of the party-attendees and when he came in and all the lights were off, he thought we had already headed to the next destination and left.  Once we received his text, we told him to stay in his car until further notice so that he wouldn't ruin the surprise.

THEN...a few minutes later, CWC, really does arrive.  He comes in, turns on the light at the bottom of the stairs and says:  "Hellooo?  Grey?"  No response, so he comes up the stairs.  At that moment we turn on the lights, yell "SURPRISE" and all blow noisemakers!  He really was surprised!

The lighting is off, but can you see the surprise in his face!

Bryce found a parking place and then headed to the party.  Turns out, during the guys' afternoon together, Bryce's phone had gotten dropped into a cup of Gatorade and was not working.  Luckily, the broken phone did not hinder the surprise!

We all visited and ate and drank for a bit.

I made CWC this birthday cake--it was looking rough but luckily, sprinkles and strawberries prettied it up!

The next event of the night was Happy Hour at The Tobacco Company.  GSS rented a trolley for us all to ride over.

The birthday boy and his party planning girlfriend on the trolley!

Bryce and Me

Once we arrived at Tobacco Company, GSS had reserved a bunch of tables, we enjoyed lots of $1 drinks and the guys smoked Shockoe Valley Cigars (made in Richmond) we had gotten for them.  

some of the guys!

party planners!


Bryce enjoying his cigar!

When Happy Hour ended we hopped back on the trolley and headed back to CWC's apartment.  His apartment is on the street with many popular bars so it was the perfect homebase.  Bryce and I then left the crowd and walked a few blocks to Home Team Grill.  One of his stepbrothers is in a band that was playing at the Grill.  It's a band comprised of middle aged doctors and lawyers and I think it is so fun to see them let loose!

The band's name is Soul Fly

Bryce's stepbrother is on the far left!

After Home Team we decided to head home.  Saturday morning I found this little guy in my purse!

Saturday was spent cleaning my room, going for a walk with SEG, and pinning for way too long!  

Sunday morning I slept in and had a big pancake breakfast, compliments of my dad, the chef!  After that I had a pretty lazy Sunday and then headed to Bryce's mom's house for dinner to celebrate his stepdad's birthday!  His mom is a domestic goddess extraordinnaire, so as usual, dinner was scrumptious!

How was your weekend?

Have you ever thrown a surprise party?

Be sure to check out the links to my Facebook page and Pinterest at the top of my sidebar!

Also, I have the blog sale almost completely together and am planning to post Wednesday so be sure to come back and check it out!

Have a Happy Monday!



Hello sweet friends!

Have any of y'all seen the previews for the hot new show GCB, premiering on ABC March 4th?  

I saw a recent preview while watching Grey's last week and am SUPER EXCITED for this new show!  GCB stands for "Good Christian Belles" and tells the story of Amanda, a former high school mean girl who has returned to town after a nasty divorce.  The show looks absolutely hilarious and has the creator of Steel Magnolias behind it.  It's based on the book Good Christian B*tches by Kim Gatlin.  I bought the book over the weekend and am almost done with it.  Now I just have to wait until the show premiers March 4.  Let the countdown begin!

Will you be watching?

Have a great day!


Rosemont Vineyards & Winery

Happy Tuesday readers!

I'm glad to see some fresh faces over here at Sundresses and Smiles--I'll do my best to stop by and say hi soon!

How were your weekends?

Mine was nice and relaxing.  Friday evening Bryce returned from a business trip to Massachusetts just in time for dinner.  We were going to cook, but since his flight had been delayed, we ended up splitting a pizza at a nearby Italian restaurant--it was just what the doctor ordered!

Saturday, we got up and headed to Lake Gaston.  My godparents retired on the lake and we planned the trip so that Bryce could meet them.  Their home is in Bracey, Virginia which is the middle of nowhere--especially in the cold winter months, but I really enjoy escaping for a weekend during the lake's off season.  It's very calming and kind of nice to be unplugged for a weekend (there is virtually no cell reception).

We spent lots of time eating delicious food, sitting by the fire, and also took a trip to a local vineyard:  Rosemont of Virginia Vineyards and Winery.

Rosemont opened in 2008 and it has been neat to see it evolve and grow over the last few years.  Being that Bryce has taken his own stab at wine making (see his guest post here), I knew he would enjoy this outing.

Owned by the Rose Family, the vineyard used to be a soybean and tobacco farm.  Now you can see the rows and rows of grapes growing!

I just love the plantation-style look of the vineyard!

We started our time at Rosemont with a tasting.  We were able to try 14 wines and Gray, who led our tasting, was not only knowledgeable about the wines but also a lot of fun!

The white marble tiles are built into the bar so that tasters can examine the color of the wines.

I thought the bar was just lovely!

After the tasting we each chose a glass to enjoy as we explored the building.  Bryce chose the Kilravock (pronounced "Kill Rock"), which is named after the family's castle in Scotland, and is a Boredaux style red wine.  I chose a mixture Gray let us try-- 2/3 Lake Country Sunset (sweet white whine) + 1/3 Blackridge Red (sweet red wine) to make a delicious Zinfandel style wine.

Ready to drink and explore!

Rosemont's Pantry offered a variety of meats and cheese to "Make Your Own Picnic!" and enjoy with your wine.

This large room off the bar boasted lots of seating and a balcony.

I loved this chair by the fireplace!

There were many tables set up with different wine gifts and accessories.

The vineyard has paired with local artists to design some of the bottle labels and they were offering signed bottles at a discount with the purchase of artist William Moseley's book An Affair with Art.

I've always loved these whimsical wine bottle holders.

Bryce and I ended up settling upstairs where they had more rooms, seating, and balconies as well as an art gallery.

We both loved this painting.

Bryce has an old barrel in his shed and is considering making one of these barrel tables.

I loved the corks featured beneath the glass top.

We checked out the balcony, but didn't stay long because it was a cold, dreary day!

I wore this new horn bangle Bryce bought me while he was in Massachusetts!

I love this picture of my handsome boyfriend!

View from an upstairs window!

After we finished our glasses, we ended our time with a tour of the winery led by Gray!

there were cases and cases of wine!

Entrance to the cellar--they eventually plan to add stucco to these walls and stained glass inside to allow for special tastings in the cellar!

There were barrels everywhere!

each barrel was labeled with a code that showed which wine was inside and its vintage

Bryce smelling the wine inside!

A barrel made of Virginia oak!

After our tour we may have decided to take home a few bottles...

In fact, we got a WHOLE CASE!

2 Bottles Each of:  Traminette, Syrah, Kilravock, Lake Country Sunset, Blackridge Red, and Milis Or

Have you ever been to a vineyard?  What are your favorite wines?

Have a great day!



Happy Friday my dears!

Check out the new links to my Pinterest and the Sundresses and Smiles Facebook page on my sidebar!

I'm proud to say that this week I've filled out a few applications to substitute teach at local private schools and have also worked on some of the tasks in my Task Jar--success!  On top of all that, I've enjoyed some lovely time with friends and family during the week!

For today's post I thought I'd participate in the recent "Tagging" that has been going on here in the blogworld.  It's been a while since I've posted some random tidbits about myself and participated in these and after being tagged by 4 other bloggers, I figured I should participate.  I'll share the rules, but admit I'm going to tweak them a little bit for myself!

  1. You must post the rules
  2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself (being that I have 44 questions to answer, I'm going to skip this rule)
  3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger tagged you in and create 11 new questions for the people you tag (I'm feeling a little uncreative, and because I have a fabulous list of questions created by these other bloggers, I'm going to say that those of you tagged can choose 11 questions from the list of 44 questions I've answered)
  4. Tag 11 people and link them to your post
So here goes, prepare for a VERY LONG post and to hopefully learn a lot of new things about moi!

Bless Your Heart's Questions:
1. What is your favorite nail polish color?
Hmmm, this is a tough one--I used to always stick to shades of pink and red, but over the summer began to be a little more adventurous (see this post).  Now my list includes pinks, red, purples, and grays.  Lately I've been loving Essie's Bahama Mama.

2. Best book you've ever read?
As I've mentioned before on this blog, it is very hard for me to pick favorites--I tend to like a lot of things for a lot of different reasons.  One of my all-time favorites that is a must have read for any and all women is Firefly Lane  by Kristin Hannah.  It's a beautiful story about the power of women's friendship--to read my review of it, click here!

3. If you could stop time for 1 hour, what would you do?
Hmmm, this is tough--I'd probably say read.  Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do and can be such a relaxing escape.

4. Silver or gold?
I used to be a silver girl and still love it, but now I tend to go for gold more often than not, especially with a lot of my fun jewelry!

5. Your favorite thing in your closet?
Again--favorites are tough!  One of my favorites that is a go-to in the spring and summer is a silk Banana Republic tunic I've had for 3 or 4 years now.  It is just so me  in every way and is something I find myself wearing over and over again!

The tunic on a very fun girls night, Summer 2008!

6. What's your favorite song?
These favorites are getting me!  I'm a tried and true country girl, so that's what I listen to most of the time.  My favorite song lately has been "Baggage Claim" by Miranda Lambert.

7. Last concert you went to?
Trey Anastasio in Charlottesville with Bryce.  If you've never heard of him, don't feel bad--I hadn't either!  He used to be in Phish and Bryce is a huge Phish fan; the music definitely was different than what I normally listen to, but it proved to be a very fun night complete with lots of Glow Sticks and dancing!

8. Do you have a case on your phone? If so, what does it look like?
I have not jumped on the smart phone bandwagon and therefore don't have a phone case.  I'm hoping that my next phone will be an iPhone though and I will most definitely have a super cute case for it!

9. Favorite make-up item?
Eyeliner--I rarely leave the house without it and it definitely is what makes my look.  I love Estee Lauder's "Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil" and have been using it for years.

10. Is there a show you stop everything to watch?
Grey's Anatomy--however if there's something fun going on at 9 pm on a Thursday, I'll watch it On Demand later, hehe!

Original Cast

11. If you could insert yourself into any movie, which would it be?
Steel Magnolias--it's an absolute favorite of mine and I would love to be part of such a tight-knit community of Southern women.

And now onto Kelly's questions from Classy in Carolina:
1. What is your favorite accessory to shop for?  Jewelry, shoes, purses, or other?
Most definitely jewelry!  I used to rarely shop for jewelry, but in the last year or so, I've gotten really into statement pieces, especially bangle bracelets and big, bold necklaces!

2. What is one city (other than the one that you currently live in) where you would love to live?
Charleston, SC--I've never been but know I would absolutely love it.  It combines my love of beautiful homes, the ocean, shopping, and the South!  To see a guest post of the Top Ten things to do in Charleston click here!

3. What is your all-time favorite book?
I mentioned Firefly Lane in the last set of answers, so now I'll share a few of my other favorites: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

4. If you could have an unlimited supply of ONE brand of clothes (as in EVERY item that you wanted from that brand magically appeared in your closet), which brand would you choose?
I'd have to say Tibi--I absolutely love Tibi clothes, but they tend to be out of my price range, so I'd definitely love some magic spell to add some gorgeous Tibi duds to my closet!

This little number would be perfect for the Fundraising Ball Bryce and I have coming up!

5. Most days, do you dress for comfort or style?
I'd say both--I tend to be pretty comfortable in most of my clothes, even the more stylish ones.  

6. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Hmmm...probably pasta.  Macaroni and cheese and buttered noodles are among my favorite foods!  For a Mac-N-Cheese recipe I shared, click here!

Delicious Southern Living Baked Mac-N-Cheese

7. What is your favorite season, and why?
Fall--I absolutely love fall:  the cool, crisp air; beautiful leaves; Halloween; riding boots; and my birthday all make it my favorite season!

Pumpkin Patching with Bryce this Fall

8. What is your least favorite chore?
DUSTING, hands down!  I hate it--you have to move everything in order to dust and then rearrange it and within days it seems as if the dust is already back!

9. What is your favorite color to wear?
Pink--when you open my closet, pink stands out the most!  While going through clothes recently, I noticed that I have 5 different pink cardigans and sometimes I even actively have to try and not buy pink if something I want is offered in multiple colors.  

10. Do you like to try new things often, or prefer to stick with what you know and love?
I'd say I'm a mix of both.  Day to day I tend to stick with things I know and love, but I often also crave new things and like to have random bursts of spontaneity!

11.  What is one of your happiest memories?
This is really tough--I'd say some of my happiest memories are going out on the Chesapeake Bay with my family as a little girl.  Nearly every weekend in the summers we'd head to the Bay and take the boat out, fish for sand shark, explore the lighthouses in the area, and swim.  To this day, boating is my favorite thing to do, and I think that is largely due to these fond memories.

Still reading?  You're halfway there!!

Now for Simple Girl, Simple Pleasures Amanda's questions:
1. What is your middle name or initial?
Bennett--I'm named after my mother's godmother!

2. Where do you want to be in your life when you're 60?
Hmmm..this is tough.  I most definitely want to be married and settled here in Richmond.  Hopefully, by then I'll have 3 grown children--maybe some of them will be married and I might even be a grandma!

3. If you could only have one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Gelati Celesti Cookie Dough Ice Cream--BEST Ice Cream ever (it's a mix between gelato and traditional ice cream).

Picture of Cutie B at Gelati Celesti 3 summers ago!

4. What do you love most about blogging?
The friendships you make, for sure!  I never would have expected to make such close relationships with other bloggers when I started this venture, but I certainly am glad I have.  I always know that in the blog world, I have a great group of people that will make me laugh, share new and interesting things with me, and also support me.

5. Flats or heels?
Flats for sure!  I'm only 5'3 but I can't stand the pain of heels and probably only wear them 3 or 4 times a year!  

6. Are you superstitious?
Not really...I will "knock on wood" occasionally, but am not afraid to open an umbrella inside, ha!

7. Would you rather work at an office or at home?
Office for sure--I know at home, I would have a hard time staying on task and I also want to associate home with relaxation and family, not work.

8.  What's your lucky number?
I don't really have one--if I had to pick I guess I'd say 28, since November 28th is my birthday.

9. Do you tweet?  If not, why?
No--I know it seems funny, considering I have a blog, but I try not to be "too connected."  Facebook, email, and blogging are enough for me! 

10. Do you remember your dreams at night?
Yes and lately I have been having the most vivid, strange dreams!

11. Are you a momma's girl or daddy's girl?
Definitely Daddy's Girl--ever since I was little my dad has called me "his shadow" and we share a really special bond.  I'm also very close with my mom too, though, and consider her one of my best friends.

DRUMROLL PLEASE....you've made it to the last list of questions!  Don't you feel like you know so much more about me? Hehe!

And now for Hannah's questions from The Pink and Green Prep:
1. Who is your celebrity crush?
Matthew McConaughey for sure.  I think I first fell in love with him when seeing The Wedding Planner in sixth grade!


2. What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own?
This is a tough one.  I have lots of pieces of jewelry that are special to me for different reasons.  I'd say among of the most special though are my two charm bracelets (see post here).

my two charm bracelets!

3. What are your pet peeves?
I have lots, but the biggest is probably general rudeness--things like people pulling into a parking spaces that you've patiently been waiting for with your blinker on, snide remarks, and people that feel the need to always compete or one-up others.

4. What is your favorite article of clothing?
I mentioned my tunic in the first round of questions, but other go-to's include:  skinny jeans with boots, cardigans, and flowy, feminine blouses.

5. What was the last movie you watched?
Wednesday night I had a girls' night with some friends--we watched The Help and drank wine!  I loved the book and have now seen the movie 4 or 5 times and love it more and more each time!

6. Who is your favorite book character?
If you've read this far, you know I have trouble with favorites--one that springs to mind, though is Charlotte from Charlotte's Web...even though I HATE spiders!

7. What is your favorite holiday?
Tie between Halloween and Christmas

Favorite Halloween Costume--Pink Power Ranger!

8. What is your biggest fear?
I'm not really sure.  I do often worry about whether or not I'll be able to have kids.  My mom miscarried a few times before having me and I fear facing a similar fate.

9. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Probably Nordstrom--their customer service is superb and I love that I can find cute clothes, shoes, lingerie, jewelry, handbags, and make-up all in one place!  

10. What is your favorite city?
Richmond, Virginia!  I have lived here my whole life and love everything about it (except maybe the humidity in the summer)!

11. What are your Top 5 favorite TV shows?
Grey's Anatomy, The Bachelor(ette), Criminal Minds, Friends, and Full House

I've probably seen every episode!

Wowee!!  That was a lot of questions!  

Now I tag:

Because I'm lazy I'm not coming up with my own questions--y'all can pick your 11 favorites from the 44 I answered!  If I didn't tag you and you want to participate, feel free!  Let me know when you've posted your answers and I'd love to come read them!

What do y'all think?  Were you surprised by any of my answers? Do we have anything in common?

Oh and don't forget to check out the new Pinterest and Facebook links at the top of my sidebar!

Have a great weekend!