Sunday, October 20, 2013

Appalachian Homecoming 2013!

Now that I've shared my guide to the perfect homecoming, I can't wait to tell you what made mine so fabulous!

On Friday, I had to work all day long, and was jumping up and down when five o'clock finally arrived! Katy was picking me up at 8:30 that evening, so everything needed to go smoothly until then. After a nap to recharge, I got ready except for changing my clothes and curling my hair. Katy was nice enough to do my hair at her house, then I put on my outfit.

That night, I wore a black, 3/4 sleeve romper from Forever 21, a cheetah print belt (old), black wedges from Target, and carried my Philip Lim for Target mini satchel.
I loved this outfit because it was the perfect combination of sassy and cute!

Our sweet friend, Ivey came out with us that night, and happened to be turning 21 at midnight! Celebrating her 21st birthday AND Homecoming was double the fun! Here we are getting ready to go out!
We knew that the nearby bars would be super busy since it was Homecoming weekend, so we got there about 10:30. Of course I had to take a picture of the bouncer checking Ivey's ID before getting her first wristband a Tapp Room!
After having a drink and seeing tons of old friends, we made our way to Klondike for even more fun. There, we were able to meet up with Kaitlyn and Grace, who had been at a sorority function earlier that night. We hung out until about one, then headed home to save our energy for tailgate the next day. It was such a fun night!
On Saturday, I got up at 7:30 to start getting ready. On Homecoming weekend, I don't think there's such a thing as getting up "too early!" This allowed more than enough time for Katy to come scoop me up so I could do any finishing touches at their house. By 11AM, we were gameday ready!

For the Homecoming tailgate/game, I wore a black shift dress with a gold overlay from Francesca's, black suede booties, a few Lily & Laura bracelets and carried my Philip Lim for Target bag.
This outfit was super comfortable, and just dressy enough for a girl that loves to overdress like me!

Around 11:30, Katy's family picked us up for tailgate. Here are me, Katy and Kaitlyn in our Homecoming black and gold!
Talk about some good food! Katy's family thought of everything from burgers, to nugget trays, dessert and everything in between. This was my kind of tailgate, and I'm so thankful to them for having us!
After lunch, it was time to visit the sorority and fraternity tents at Duckpond. We made sure to take a picture of the Princess Family at tailgate! Though we're missing a few girls, it was still good to have all of us together again.
Katy's side of the Princess Fam!
After hanging out at Duckpond, we were ready to go into the game, even if if was for just a little while!
After the game, I headed to the nearby bars, to see even more familiar faces. I finished my Saturday night with a fun dinner with a friend from college. It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

Now that I've finally mastered the art of Homecoming, I already can't wait until next year! There's always fun to be had and black and gold to be worn!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Guide to the Perfect Homecoming!

Now that I've experience my second Homecoming as an Appalachian alumna in all its glory, I wanted to put together my personal guide to the perfect homecoming weekend! I've experienced six different Homecoming weekends (four as a student + two as an alumna,) and I think I've finally got the routine down pat!

The Princess Family at tailgate this year!

1. Plan your outfits ahead of time!
If you're anything like me, there's nothing worse than being stuck in an outfit you don't feel comfortable wearing. I felt this even more as an alumna, knowing that most of the people that I'd be seeing, I only see once a year. To make sure the weekend was a success, I picked out my outfits for Friday (pre-homecoming festivities), gameday on Saturday, and Saturday evening way ahead of time. Sunday of that weekend should be left for recovery, so I knew that a sweatshirt and leggings would do the job.

This is the black romper I wore for going out with friends on Friday night. I bought this weeks ago, had it altered and made sure it was ironed and ready way before Homecoming.

This is my the black/gold dress that I wore on gameday. I bought three Homecoming dresses, yes three, but finally decided on this one! I wanted to make sure that I was wearing a dress that I loved, and had Melody written all over it!

2. Don't over-plan your activities!
My best friend Katy (a fellow Appalachian alum) and I had a general idea of what we wanted to do during the weekend, but we also knew that things would pop up that we hadn't originally planned. Keeping this in mind helped us to be a little more relaxed when things changed. If we wanted to arrive super early, or stay some where a little longer than expected, that was just fine with us.

Me, Ivey, and Katy getting ready for Friday's festivities!

3. Touch base and take photos!
Homecoming gives you the opportunity to see friends that you never thought you would. This is one of the main reasons that I love it so much!  Don't hesitate to touch base with people you haven't seen in a while, and snap a photo! I love looking back on how people have changed over the years.

Three generations of the Princess Family out on Friday night!

4. Go to the game!
I've been known to attend tailgate on gameday, and not even go to the game. It's not that I don't enjoy football, I just like the social aspect of it a little more! This year, I made a point to attend the game, even if it was for just a few quarters (we weren't doing so well), and I'm so glad I did. I got to see our awesome stadium looking Homecoming-ready and experience the excitement that is "Appalachian Football!"

5. Make plans for Saturday night!
Before this year, it never occurred to me to make plans on Saturday evening after the game. I had always assumed that homecoming-goers tailgated all day, went to the game that afternoon, and then stayed home to rest that evening. This was absolutely not the case. When I left the game this year, I headed to the nearby bars to see even more familiar faces, and later had dinner with a good friend from college. I would have gone out that night as well, but with no energy left, my bed was calling my name!

Everything went off without a hitch last weekend, and I couldn't have asked for a better Homecoming!

What are your to-do's for the perfect Homecoming?!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Melody's Charleston Birthday: Part 2

The second day of our Charleston birthday adventure was spent shopping and enjoying the fabulous, King Street! I've been to Charleston two other times, but never had a chance to soak up King Street in all its glory! This was it!
Our first stop, and the only one that really mattered to me was Kate Spade! I was in heaven!
The store was gorgeous and just as fabulous as I had imagined! I'm fairly sure I could have stayed in there all day long!
At the Impeccable Pig, one of my other favorite stops, I picked up another Lily and Laura bracelet to go with the pair that Katy and Kaitlyn gave me for my birthday! These things are so addicting and I just love them!
Posing in front of this Princess sign was a must for these three Princess Family members!
As a gift for my birthday, Marcia & Don gave me tokens for 6 free cupcakes from Cupcake Down South on King Street. Talk about the perfect gift for a sweets lover like me! After shopping most of the morning and having lunch, we headed straight to Cupcake Down South to pick out our delicious cupcakes!
There were so many fun flavors to choose from!
We ended up with three "tuxedo" cupcakes (chocolate with white icing), one vanilla and one pumpkin! They all looked so good.
These beauties weren't something you could eat/enjoy standing up, so we walked to a nearby park just a few blocks away to sit down.
That night after getting back to the condo, it was time to get ready for my big birthday dinner! We brainstormed a few ideas, but decided to try a place called Bocci's Italian Restaurant. I've never been much for Italian food, but that night I was craving pasta and it didn't disappoint!

Here I am in my official 23rd birthday dress! My Mom and I fell in love with this dress in April, and knew it would be perfect!
I'm wearing the Lilly Pulitzer Lowe Dress in the Pop! print, a J.Crew inspired necklace, my Pop! bangle, two Lily and Laura bracelets and a Lilly Pulitzer clutch. This is my favorite birthday outfit by far!
Again, we made sure to take lots of pictures!
Alex and Me in our lovely Lilly!
 Right before going to dinner, the girls put a candle in one of my birthday cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to me. I felt so so special!
 We arrived at the restaurant just in time for our reservation. The food (and my $9 glass of champagne) hit the spot!
 That night, we made our way to three different bars in downtown Charleston. My favorite was a rooftop bar called Stars!
I have always wanted to go on a destination birthday trip, and this year everything fell into place to make my dream a reality. I am so thankful for Katy, Kaitlyn, Danielle and Alex for making this trip so fabulous, and to Marcia, for giving us a beautiful/safe place to stay! I already can't wait for my next trip to beautiful Charleston. You can read Danielle's review of the birthday weekend here.

Being 23 never felt so good!

Just in case you missed it, here's Melody's Charleston Birthday: Part 1 

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Melody's Charleston Birthday: Part 1

I can't believe that it's almost been two weeks since I was in Charleston for my 23rd birthday! It was an amazing trip with four of my closest friends, and I'm so happy to finally be sharing it with all of you! Because of the amount of pictures we took and things we did, I've split this post into two parts.

I hope you enjoy seeing our Charleston birthday adventures!

Katy, Kaitlyn and I decided to leave Boone super early on Friday morning. I ended up waking at 5AM to pack and make sure that everything was ready to go, and then headed to ChickfilA to meet them for breakfast before we left. This cute and comfortable maxi dress was perfect for the ride down...

...along with my Brina Box necklace 

and my new Kate Spade bag that I got for my birthday!

It all became real when Katy and Kaitlyn pulled up with their car all decorated! This made me even more excited! We were really on our way to Charleston!

Katy showcasing her side of the car!

We arrived in Charleston about 1:30 on Friday afternoon, just in time for our lunch reservation at Cru Cafe. Marcia and Don had recommended Cru to me a few weeks ago, and it did not disappoint! 

I decided on the shrimp BLT and fresh fruit! So good!

This is also where we met up with my friend Alex for the first time! Alex recently moved to Charleston, and I hadn't seen her in four months!

She acted as our tour guide and showed us some of her favorite spots in Charleston.
We were able to fit in just the right amount of shopping and sightseeing, before checking out the condo we'd be staying in for the weekend.
Love the view of the street behind us!
We got to the condo around 6PM, and were in awe of how nice it was! I am so thankful to Marcia for letting us stay there. We were in heaven! After riding for five hours, and shopping for another four, we decided to have pizza delivered for dinner and wait for Danielle to arrive!
Danielle got to Charleston just in time to put her party clothes on and catch the taxi with us. We called a local cab company earlier that evening, and let them know what time we'd like to be picked up. In the meantime, we made sure to snap a lot of photos!
Even though this was my actual birthday night, we decided to save our best outfits until Saturday, when Danielle could be there with us to eat dinner and everything. On Friday, I actually wore my birthday dress from last year. It had only been worn once, so I figured why not?!
I'm wearing a Forever 21 dress, Kate Spade bow earrings and Lilly Pulitzer wedges.
Everyone loved the glitter champagne glasses that I decorated for them!
It wouldn't be a birthday without balloons and flowers!
That night, we visited four completely different bars. I thought it was crazy how each bar was so different from the one next door!

After a few drinks, we were all ready to head back to the condo from our first successful night!

Click here to read Melody's Charleston Birthday: Part 2!

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