Happy Hump Day friends!

I know I said this in my very last post, but I just don't know where my weeks' go!  It's already midway through the week and I'm just posting!  I've had such a long list of blog ideas lately, but little time to put them all together and also keep up with your blogs, so I apologize!

Today, I'd like to share a soiree Bryce and I attended this past weekend:  A Surprise 60th Birthday Party for his step-uncle in Virginia Beach.

We left Friday evening and rode with Bryce's mom and stepdad.  We drove through hail, pouring rain, and high winds--BUT--it was all worth it, because the evening was so fun.

The party was seamlessly planned out.  Everyone was to arrive no later than 7:00 pm.  The man of the night, Mark, was to arrive around 7:30-- tricked into thinking he was simply going to drinks at the club before a birthday dinner.  Being a fellow Wahoo, they decided the ploy to get him into the party would be signs for a Virginia Tech (i.e. our arch rivals) party in the main ballroom.

The party planners knew that Mark, the birthday boy, would be curious to take a peek at the Hokie party!

They even outfitted this mannequin in a VT football uniform!

The surprise was a good one and I was thrilled to be a part of the event.  An open bar, hors d'oeuvres, buffet,  cupcakes, a funny slideshow, good music, and open mic all made the night a fabulous one!

I absolutely loved these glasses they had made for the event:
One side is etched with "BUNDY"--the last name of the man of honor
And the other side is inscribed with LX--Roman Numerals for 60!
Even the cupcakes had LX, in WAHOO (NOT Hokie) colors!

I LOVE this picture I took of Bryce and his mom--I will definitely be framing this for her!

I wish my dress wasn't twisted in this picture!

By the end of the evening, the mannequin was disrobed and in pieces--lots of people were taking silly pictures with the different parts!

All the cousins (and young people in the group) ended the night at Waterman's Surfside Grille.

The next morning, all of the immediate family met for brunch, and I'll just say we had some throbbing heads.  I pulled my Excedrin Migraine out at one point and shared it to nearly half the table!  I'd say that's a sign of a fun night!

What did you do this weekend?

Come back soon--I'll be sharing my chocolate mousse cake recipe in the next post!

Also, as some of you know, I'm getting very close to my blogoversary!  Sundresses and Smiles will be turning 1 on March 15.  I have a goal of making it to 500 followers by March 15 and will put together a fun giveaway if I reach that goal.  If you're a normal reader who doesn't yet follow, go ahead and do it!  And while you're at it, check out the Sundresses and Smiles Facebook page too, by clicking here!

Have a great day!


Emma Graham Designs

Happy Thursday readers!

Where did the week go?  I had planned to post all 5 days this week, and here I am, only posting twice!  I don't know what happens to my time.

I'm subbing today at a new elementary school in a first grade class and am thrilled.  Additionally, the weather forecast predicts a high of 73 today--which, of course, adds to my good mood!

All this warm weather is making me anxious for spring...and you know what spring brings don'tcha?  SUNDRESSES...and smiles!

I recently was contacted by Emma Graham Designs and their sundresses will surely put a smile on your face.

I was familiar with the company before, but learned they have revamped their website and I am really pleased with what I found on it.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I love, love, love this dress!  It is simple, but also fun at the same time!
I would pair it with nude heels for a dressier occasion or Jacks for a casual occasion.

This dress exudes sexy and cool and I can just picture it with tan wedges on a sultry summer night!

I love the easy, yet put together look of this skirt...and the beading detail at the waist is DIVINE!

I'm a sucker for a ruffle AND a sucker for a cool back...this dress has BOTH!  What more could a girl want?

And for the finale, I've got my eye on the Molly Top for summer.  As y'all know, Southern summers are HOT and STICKY.  That being said, one of my favorite things to wear in the summer are loose, flowy tops to stay cool...enter the Molly Top!

I'm just picturing this on a summer night..drink in hand, fireflies in the air!

Don't see anything you fancy?  Don't worry...Emma Graham even has a Design Your Own section, which enables you to pick your silhouette, colors, and size for a custom piece that ships to you in just two weeks!

SO...what do you think?  Have you ever heard of Emma Graham?  Do you like their pieces?

If you like what you see, stop by Emma Graham's new website, here, to look at some more of what they have to offer!

Have a great day!!


Heart Day Recap

Hello sweet friends!

How were y'all's weekends?  Mine was good--lots of relaxing (I even started reading Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin and am hooked) and time spent with family.  Finally, the cherry on top this weekend was a beautiful snow Sunday night--check out the Sundresses and Smiles Facebook page, here, to see a picture!

Additionally, my aunt is continuing to recover very well.  I appreciate all of your kind words over the weekend.  As a blogger, it can be scary to open yourself up in such an honest way, particularly about something that is tough.  I was nervous to post what my family has been struggling with, but, all of your support and kind words showed me that the blog really is a place for me to be my whole self.

Today I thought I would give you a recap of my Valentine's Day with Bryce.  WOW!  Can't believe it was already a whole week ago.

Bryce and I decided that we wanted to stay in and cook dinner together rather than going out.  For me personally, going out to a fancy restaurant surrounded by other couples celebrating Valentine's Day, takes away from a bit of the romance and intimacy of the holiday, so I was glad to be staying home.  When I arrived at Bryce's he had the table set up!

lit candles, wine we bought together at Rosemont, and a beautiful bouquet

When I arrived we quickly got to work on dinner:  A mixed greens salad, Halibut, and Risotto.

It all turned out so good that I even went for seconds!

Knowing that a way to a man's heart is his stomach, I worked all afternoon on a special dessert for Bryce.  Bryce is a HUGE chocolate fan, so I knew something decadent and chocolate would be necessary.  I ended up opting for a chocolate mousse layered cake (recipe coming soon!)

Garnished with red lip sprinkles and mini chocolate chips!

It was delicious, but a little too rich for my tastes (perfect for Bryce's)!

After dinner, I presented Bryce with his two presents.  We both had agreed not to get each other extravagant gifts, but I did want to do something special to show him how much he means to me. 

First on the list were these chocolate covered pretzels I made!

Next was the big gift--"52 things I love about YOU!"

"52 things I love about YOU!"

Rather than bore you with ALL 52, I'll just share a few of my favorites.  I tried to keep the list a mix of serious and silly things.

"I love your cute TUSH!"

"I love when you SING to me!!"

"I love that you're a true Southern gentleman."

"I love that you're kind and friendly to everyone you meet."

"I love that you ALWAYS make me feel beautiful!"

"I love that you give without expecting anything in return."

"I love that you put up with my whining."
Guilty...I can be a whiner!

"I love that you never give up on US!"

Bryce really loved this gift and snickered when I admitted the idea was from none other than Pinterest!

Bryce gave me the most beautiful bouquet of pink roses and stargazer lillies (lillies are my favorite flower), which I mentioned in Friday's post.  As promised here is an updated picture since the lillies have begun to open up more--they are SO gorgeous!

isn't that stunning?

Additionally, he got me this cute card that couldn't be more perfect...

Bryce can't stand when I rub my "ice cubes" on him to try and warm them up!

All in all, it was a wonderful Valentine's Day and a really special time to celebrate our love!  

How did you celebrate?

Did you have a good weekend?



Wow--TGIF!  This week has been a long one filled with ups and downs.

I had two other posts planned for this week, but they just didn't happen.

A LOT has been going on--some good, some bad.  I'll start with the bad and end with the good.  This is going to be a text heavy post and not the most upbeat, but I need to get some things off my chest.  This post is my confessional--a place to share what's been spinning in my head this week.

The big bad has been on my mind for the last few weeks and I've debated whether or not it's something I want to share on the blog.  I try to keep most of my posts upbeat and positive, BUT, in the end I realized that I consider most of you my true friends and I want the blog to be a whole reflection of me.  That being said, sometimes the bad in life needs to be shared or at least expressed for my own coping.  

About two weeks ago we learned that my aunt has colon cancer--the doctor wouldn't give her a specific stage, because he said that different points on tumors will show different stages.  He did tell her that if she didn't have surgery to remove it that she would die.  

Since hearing the news, I've had a whirlwind of emotions--denial, anger, fear, and sadness.  When I first found out, I was more worried for myself than for my aunt--I know this is selfish, but I'm being as honest as possible.  I'm going to have to get colonoscopies every two years now, because I'm at risk and that scares me, A LOT!  I also think I've been majorly in denial about it all, not wanting to face the thought that my aunt is really sick.  Other than Bryce and now all of you, I haven't shared this news with any of my friends.  I haven't wanted to be negative when I have time with friends, but I also think I haven't wanted to admit the reality to myself.  

She had surgery yesterday, and fortunately things went as well as could be expected, she is recovering well, but has a LONG road ahead of her.  Her hospital stay is expected to be 3-5 days and after that she is coming to our house.  My mom doesn't work so she can take care of my aunt. Additionally, at her house, her bedroom and full baths are on the second floor, which causes major issues of having to go up and down the stairs.  She'll be staying in my room.  It's a sacrifice I am more than willing to make, but it also will be hard.  For the next few weeks/months our front door will be a revolving door for guests and my room will be inhabited.  I willingly volunteered for her to stay in my room, because logistically, it is the best spot, but it's not going to be easy.  

On top of all this--I have tonsillitis.  My throat has been hurting on and off since last weekend and finally Wednesday it got to the point that I thought it needed to be looked at.  I'll be on antibiotics for the next week.  

And finally for the last bad, Bryce is out of town.  He just left yesterday and will be back tomorrow, but when I'm sick I want to be spoiled and really just want to curl up with him in bed.  He's hunting at Quail Ridge Plantation in Georgia, so I'm very excited for him, but also wish he were home, too!

And now, enough bad for a Friday--let's talk about some good that's been going on this week!

I'VE FINALLY STARTED SUBBING!!!  After a long time waiting for paperwork to process, I made it onto the substitute list and have been able to sub every day this week.  I am so happy to be finally doing something with my days.  

I also have started a part time nannying job with a family that is friends with The Cuties.  It's all fallen into place perfectly and works out that the hours I'll be helping them won't conflict with substitute teaching.

Secondly, Bryce and I had the most wonderful Valentine's day together.  I'll be posting a full recap next week, but for now I will just show you the beautiful flowers he gave me:  a bouquet of pink roses and stargazer lillies (lillies are my favorite flower)!

Since this picture was taken Valentine's night, a bunch of the buds have opened--I'll have to snap another picture to put in my V-day recap for y'all to see!  

And the final good is that it's Friday and hopefully this long week can be put behind me.  My aunt is very sick, but surgery went WELL.  I do have tonsillitis, but it's now the weekend and I can relax and recuperate.  Bryce is gone, but he'll be home tomorrow and it's probably best to be with my family right now.  

I'm trying to focus on the positive during this tough time!

Hopefully this weekend I'll have lots of time to lay in bed-- relaxing, writing blog posts, and reading your blogs!  Get excited for a product review, Valentine's Day recap, recipe, and even a discussion topic coming soon!

What have been the highs and lows of your week?

Have a great weekend!


Be Mine Ball

Happy Monday readers!

This weekend was so much fun, but also jam-packed!  I slept like a baby last night!

The big event of the weekend was the Prevent Child Abuse Virginia (PCAV) Be Mine Ball.  The event was held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Tickets included an open beer and wine bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a live band, silent auction, and LOTS of fun!

Additionally, the crowd was very young--I'd guess a majority of the attendees were between the ages of 22 and 28.  It was really neat to see so many people my age contributing to the community and such a great cause.

Bryce was dressed to impress in a bright cummerbund and bow tie set and bullet studs!

I LOVE this picture, but have got to figure out how to blur that goob in the background!

At one point the saxophonist made his way out into the crowd!

Bryce ran into some VMI buds--the guy on the far left had on the coolest studs, they were all different Richmond landmarks!


These three have known each other since kindergarten.

By the end of the night the dance floor was HOPPING!

We ended the night at Metro Grill!

All in all the event was an absolute blast--it was great seeing so many Richmond and UVA people in one place and I loved dancing the night away!

As a side note, I took some of y'all's advice and paired the Kate Spade necklace with a gray top on Friday night!

Whatcha think?

What did you do this weekend?  

Have a great day!


Be Mine!

Happy Thursday my loves!

Can you believe Valentine's Day is less than a week away?  I thought it was high time to add a little Valentine's Day decor around Bryce's house.  He's out of town on a business trip until tomorrow, so I thought:  Why not surprise him with some decorations when he gets home?

Y'all--he's a little paranoid!  I told him there's a surprise at his house and he thinks I've totally redecorated and painted his room hot pink!  (Well, that MAY be a bit of a stretch, but he is a little worried about what this "surprise" is!)

My goal was to add a little romance and Valentine's fun to the place without overwhelming the entire house with hearts and bursts of pink.  Hopefully he'll like the end result!

My first stop on the decorating mission was his dining room.  

I've had a heart shaped rose wreath since my first year of college and Bryce told me I was not allowed to put it on his door weeks ago.  The wreath is so beautiful though, I wanted to find a spot for it somewhere.  I decided it would make a lovely centerpiece on his dining room table....

I put the wreath in the center of the table and added a silver candelabra Bryce's grandmother passed down to him on his last visit!

Aerial View
any tips on getting candles to stay put in their slots?  these are not sturdy in the candelabra at all!

I couldn't help adding a little sparkle with some pink heart confetti.  I don't think it's too girlie...

doesn't it pop on the red tablecloths!?

My next stop was the kitchen table!

I bought the frame and blocks in the Tarjay dollar section last year...I love the blocks-- they can spell out "xoxo", "kiss", "hugs", and "love"

My last step was to add a few discreet touches in the living room.

I added some confetti to this little dish on the coffee table!

I wish I could keep Valentine's Day decorations out all year!

And the final touch was some red candies in this bowl we bought at Rosemont Vineyards & Winery.

those chocolates are actually leftover from Christmas..oops!

Lastly, I posted on the Sundresses and Smiles Facebook Page yesterday that I was feeling crafty:  I decided to paint this dollar store canvas!  I need to get a new silver paint pen today to make the "be mine" stand out a bit more to make it complete.  I was going to find a spot for it at Bryce's, but I kind of like it in my room...what do y'all think?

Have you done any Valentine's Day decorating?

Have a great day!


Lucite Bamboo Chair

Happy Tuesday chickadees!

Hope you all had fabulous weekends!  Mine was low key and nice--Friday night we went out with some friends and then we spent the rest of the weekend relaxing!

Today I wanted to share a current obsession:  A Lucite Bamboo Chair!

Y'all know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some bamboo and I've discovered that my taste in home decor tends to be traditional with pops of modernity, bright colors, and bold prints!  This chair would be the perfect pop of modernity in a room.

This one is pretty much perfect--I am picturing my (future) lucite bamboo chair with a bright, punchy cushion paired with a desk!

Perch, a store based in New Orleans offers the chairs and will even custom make a cushion in the fabric of your choice.  I've added it to my "Wishlist" board on Pinterest and am wishing and hoping it will someday be mine!

Perch's Chair

Here are some fabrics that I think would make a gorgeous cushion for this chair in my dream office and would definitely add some pops of bright color and bold prints!

Notice a pink and blue trend? Hehe!

What do you think of the lucite bamboo chair?  

Are you a fan?  How else do you like to infuse lucites and bamboos into your decor?

Have a great day!!

PS-- Have you stopped by my blog sale yet?  If not, click here!