Happy Birthday | 28

Today I am 28 years old. Wow, creeping up on the big 3-0! We are still at the beach so first on the agenda today was brunch! The Ruby Slipper Cafe did not disappoint!

Top: Gap Factory (on sale)  |Shorts: Gap Factory (on sale) | Shoes: Nordstrom | Clutch: Nordstrom | Sunglasses: Unicorn Eyewear (stay tuned for a post about receiving 20% off) | Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. | Watch: Marc Jacobs

In honor of my birthday, I am revealing 28 random facts about me that you may not know. Let me tell you… it was hard to come up with 28 facts, but I had a little help from my husband and my mom, so here we go…

1. My mom was going to name me Hogan whether I was a boy or a girl. Hogan Elizabeth or Hogan Benton.

2. I was named Hogan because it is my moms maiden name.

3.  I was born with webbed toes. No, I cannot swim better because of them. Lol. When I was three I had surgery to separate them but it was not 100% successful.

4. I had a disease in my hips when I was three years old called Legg Perthes. After healing one hip it happened to the other one. If you see me with a limp, I must be sore.

5. I’ve had a broken collar-bone, a busted ear drum, a broken ankle, a broken foot, and numerous stitches all before the age of 8 years old….not to mention the hip & toe issue above. Someone should have called DCS on my parents…kidding! Knock on wood, I hope I am done with the emergency room for a while! 😂

6. I am right-handed but I have dribbled the basketball left-handed since day one. I still miss those Church basketball days.

7. I met my best friend, Jenn, the night of my first High School Christmas Dance. In High School all my friends would come to my house to take pictures before the dance. My friend Kerry Ann and I were upstairs in my bedroom finishing getting ready when my mom yelled up, “Girls, Jenn is on her way upstairs!” I still remember looking at my Kerry Ann like “who?” Jenn and I have been best friends ever since!

8. I had braces for three years and I wear a retainer to bed every night.

9. I played on the Golf Team in high school and was scouted by a couple of colleges.

10. When I turned 16 my parents gave me a 2005 Red Mustang. Before I got my car I had told my dad I really wanted a sunroof. I did not know mustangs did not come with a sunroof so my dad had one installed for me.

Yes… I have been called a Princess a Time or two.. 😉

11. My favorite holiday is the Fourth of JulyđŸ‡ș🇾

12. I was a lifeguard all four summers of High School.

13. I was a Student Ambassador for People to People in 2007. I traveled to France, Italy, and Malta for 20 days that summer.

14. I graduated from the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus with a degree in Liberal Studies concentrating in Criminal Justice & Psychology.

15. When I went to college, I gained 20 pounds. Thankfully, I have gotten back to my pre-college weight!

16. Evan and I dated for a year while he was a Freshman in college and I was a Junior in High School 2007/2008. We got back together in the spring of 2012 and then married in 2016.

17. Evan and I are both the babies of the family. We believe that is one of the many reasons we get along so well.

18. I nannied for Kate Krull for a few years while I was in college. I was with the Krull family during some of the most trying years of their life. If you don’t know their story, please check it out and continue to pray for them,  Go Lucy Go

19. Evans grandfather died two days before our wedding. They held off on the arrangements so that we could make our honeymoon.

20. My grandmother was admitted to the hospital the day before our wedding and was not able to attend. We visited her on our way to our Rehearsal Dinner.

21. Evan and I exited our wedding to Rocky Top being played on the organ just like my parents did on their wedding day!

22. The fireworks at our reception were a complete surprise. My dad had planned them and not told anyone about it except for my uncle and the Fire Department.

23. Evan and I flew from our honeymoon in St. Lucia straight to Knoxville to catch Tennessee beat Florida for the first time in 11 years. Needless to say we had the best honeymoon we could have asked for 🙂

24. I am a licensed Notary Public.

25. I have a carrying permit.

26. Evan and I drink a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar every morning and every evening.

27. Evan and I do not eat fast food except for the occasional Chick-fil-A.

28. Evan and I attend Church at the Mt. Carmel First Presbyterian Church.

Happy Birthday to me! Hope I didn’t bore you too much! Looking forward to another blessed year!

I’ll be sharing a full post all about our beach trip once we return! Thanks for stopping by!

Southern Soirée | Wedding Shower

We hosted a wedding shower Saturday night for my dear friend since childhood, WT & his sweet fiancé Shelby.  It was so much fun getting all of our friends together!

Pictured below are the Bride and Groom to be with their parents! Did you know it is customary for the couple to greet the guests at the front door as they arrive?

A southern soirĂ©e  calls for beautiful florals, delicious food, and good friends! We checked all of that off our list on Saturday while celebrating the bride and groom to be. Aren’t they a beautiful couple!? Can’t wait for the wedding!

Dress: Amazon (for size reference I wore the medium) | Earrings: Kendra Scott (on sale)

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The arrangements were all made by Melissa, excluding the centerpiece in the dining room, which was given by the grooms parents. The flowers from the arrangements came from Melissa’s yard and my mother in law’s yard. They consisted of magnolia leaves, jasmine, white roses, hydrangea, and other greenery.

The cookies were also made by Melissa, isn’t she the jack of all trades? She’s practicing for Greta’s first birthday in September!

All the food was made by a number of co-hosts who are all friends of the bride and groom. We could not have pulled off such an awesome party and delicious spread without help from all of them!

Our Menu:

  • Beef Tenderloin & Sister Schubert Rolls with a Horseradish-Cream Sauce
  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Croissants
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Onion SoufflĂ©
  • Green Beans wrapped in Bacon
  • Multiple Charcuterie Boards with Sausage, Boudin, and an array of Cheeses, Crackers, and Grapes
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Cucumber Greek Salad
  • Two party sized pitchers of infused water: one infused with Oranges, and one with Cucumbers
  • Beer & Wine

To make sure there is a good “flow” with all the guests, we made sure to set up different stations around the house so no room would get overly congested. We had a cheese plate in the kitchen, charcuterie boards in the bar with some other appetizers, the main food items and desserts in the dining room, a water station, wine station, and several beer stations in the bar and outside on the patio.

Be sure to comment and let me know what your favorite things are to serve at a party!

XOXO,

Hogan

Girls Trip | L.A.

A few months ago, we decided to book a girls trip to Los Angeles. For those of you who don’t know, my mom has been a care taker for my grandmother for almost two years now. We all agreed that my mom needed to get away for a bit and let loose. As for the rest of us, we just wanted to go on a fun trip together! 🙂

Once we arrived on Thursday, we hopped in our rental car and stopped at the cutest little market for brunch in Brentwood, next to the Santa Monica eastern city limit. We definitely recommend this little spot in the Brentwood Country Mart, FARMSHOP.

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After brunch, we hit the road and checked out all the hot spots. We cruised down Sunset Boulevard to Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard. We made our way up through the canyon’s winding roads to get the best shots in front of the Hollywood sign.

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Top: Loft | Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer (Similar) | Shoes:  Sole Society  (on sale) |  Earrings:  Kendra Scott | Sunglasses: Amazon (steal)

After exploring, we checked into our Airbnb which was a block away from the beach! Once we checked in we rested up from our long day of travel and sight-seeing and got ready to go to dinner. We decided to go to an authentic Mexican Restaurant called La Cabaña. The food was delicious and so were the drinks :). They make fresh guacamole right in front of you and they also make fresh tortillas on site!

The following day was probably my favorite day, Friday.

Our first stop of the day was the Huntley Hotel, Penthouse Restaurant  for an early lunch with a fabulous view! Everything about this place was fabulous actually…the 360 degree views, the food, the drinks, and the company! Check it out!

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The Beach Bellini

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These shrimp tacos were amazinggggg!!!!

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and of course the wonderful company!

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After lunch we decided to walk over to the Santa Monica Pier. It was crowded but we made the best of it. We each got a new hat from the cute little hat stand to wear on the trip AND we rode the roller coaster!

Romper: Loft (similar and on sale)| Hat: Banana Republic (Similar and on sale)

We had a blast on the pier! We headed back to get ready for the evening. We wanted to get out early so we could hop around to different places for drinks. Our first stop was the Shangri-La Hotel’s rooftop bar, ONYX, where we had a view, drinks, and a tower of fries shown below (the wasabi ketchup was an unexpected treat!)!

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Dress: TJ Maxx | Shoes: Antonio Melani | Sunglasses: Amazon (Steal)

I rarely find maxi dresses that work for me since I am so short. This one worked perfect so I bought it in two colorsâ˜ș

Our next stop was just down the street, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel. They had the neatest little outdoor patio with water falls, koi fish, and string lights, where we enjoyed hanging out by the bungalows and watching the sun set before heading to our next spot, Townhouse. Townhouse was a chill little spot for us to wind down for the night. It is one of the oldest bars in the Los Angeles area (established in 1915) and formerly was a speakeasy!

Saturday, our last day, we headed to Malibu! We cruised up the PCH enjoying the view of all the gorgeous homes and of course the Pacific! We stopped at a neat little shopping center called the Malibu Country Mart to grab a snack. Then we headed to the Rosenthal Winery where there was live music and a mexican food truck. We sipped Rose’ and enjoyed the great weather for a few hours before heading back to Santa Monica.

Once we got back to Santa Monica, we shopped around the Third Street Promenade at Nordstrom & Bloomingdales. I found the cutest gingham skort at Nordstrom and just had to wear it for dinner that night!

Before heading to dinner we walked down Venice Beach and found this awesome heart wall! We did a little people watching around the beach then made our way down the lush alleys to Barrique, where we enjoyed some delicious Italian cuisine and toasted to a wonderful weekend together.

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Top: Bayou Belle’s Boutique |Skort: Nordstrom | Bracelets: Tiffany & Co. & Kendra Scott | Watch: Marc Jacobs | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Shoes: Target | Handbag: Louis Vuitton | Sunglasses: Costa Del Mar

Barrique was a delicious meal to end our time in LA. Melissa and I ordered the homemade red beet tagliolini pasta which looks (and maybe even sounds to you) unappetizing but was so very good!! My friend Chrissy ordered the lamb chop special and it was amazing ( I tried a bite)! Everyone chickened out on viewing the dessert menu so I volunteered us all to share the chocolate mouse and no one objected!

After dinner we called it an early night because we all had red-eyes to catch home Sunday morning!

Been to L.A. before? Let me know your favorite spots!

Thank you all for taking the time to read my very first blog post. I look forward to bringing you lots of fun fashion, delicious meals, and restaurant recommendations, and hopefully a DIY project here and there!