September Recipe Review

This month consisted of a bunch of really yummy and really easy meals, which I love. My favorite by far, which I plan on making on the reg now, was this one dish garlic & herb pork tenderloin by The Seasoned Mom. The best part, besides the one dish deliciousness, is that there is almost zero prep with the pre-marinated pork tenderloin. It's also a really quick 30 minute meal, so great for after work.  On our potatoes and carrots, we used our favorite seasoning, Charlie's Choice {the spicy one of course!}. Charlie's Choice was actually a part of a wedding gift, and it truly changed our kitchen. I use it on everything, but especially potatoes. It's become my go-to for seasoning salmon as well! 

Charlie's Choice
To go with our easy dish, I whipped up some creamy cheesy spinach that was a recipe from my friend Kim at one of my bridal showers! I honestly wish I had made more, and it was the perfect rich, green, compliment to our dish. The meal as a whole also saved really well, and was what I craved every day for lunch for days after which is rare for me as I can't really deal with leftovers. 

Creamy Cheesy Spinach by The Reese Family 

After a month of really great work news for CJM, I wanted to celebrate, and thought scallops for dinner one Friday night would be just the way to do that! I purchased some frozen scallops from our local meat market, thawed them, and then cooked them following this recipe I found on Pinterest. Amazing! I added red pepper flakes to the mix, and it was soooooo good. We ate all of the scallops that night!
With the scallops we had roasted asparagus, tossed with Charlie's Choice again, and baked parmesan sweet potatoes. These were yummy, and made a lot which packed well with some grilled chicken for lunches during the week.  


Who's excited for October tomorrow? I am!! It's birthday month, and I'll be turning 25. Goodness...I remember when 25 felt so old, and I still remember 16 entirely too well!

Being a Bride: McKenzie

Bride Name: McKenzie Fussell
Groom Name: Pearce Fussell
Wedding Date: May 26, 2014
Total number in wedding party: 19
Total guests: 150
Venue: Walkers Landing, Amelia Island Plantation

How you met & the proposal: Pearce and I met in high school. He was that super cute senior I had a mega crush on and I was a freshman. Thankfully I was really bad at math and ended up needing a tutor. My mom hired Pearce for the job. I was obviously thrilled but (plot twist) ended up firing him just a few weeks later because I had THE hardest time focusing and really did need to pass math. The next year we connected again, and a few years later we started dating. His faith in God’s goodness and genuine love for people led me to the conclusion that he was in fact the one.

 He proposed in Nov. 2013 at a Christmas tree farm in Douglas, GA. We were walking around looking at trees when I noticed one of them already had an ornament on it. That was strange but I didn’t investigate much further. I could however, tell that he wanted me to. When I took a second look at the ornament it read, “Marry Me.”I noticed that in addition to the ornament, there was a gorgeous engagement ring on the tree. In the midst of my confusion and shock, he popped the question. How did he know I’d always wanted a Christmas proposal? It was one of the best days of my life! Now every time we visit a Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree, I get to reflect on that happy moment. And yes, I still have the ornament!

What was the best bridal/pre-wedding event you attended, and why? I had two amazing bridal showers thrown by my favorite people. They both made me feel so incredibly loved and I feel like that’s when “it” hit and I realized I was really the bride. My bachelorette weekend was incredibly fun as well! All of my bridesmaids came to town and we did ALL the girly things: they threw me a lingerie party, we lounged by the pool, and I enjoyed every second of relaxation before the big day.  But I think my favorite pre-wedding event was the bridal luncheon for all of my girls and the special women in my life. It brought me so much joy being able to shower them with love and express my gratitude for all they had done for me, right before the wedding. I highly encourage throwing one!

What was something your bridesmaids or family members did for you that made your day or pre-planning experience special? Let me start by sharing this, my MOH was the greatest MOH in the history of MOH’s. Seriously. We joked throughout the planning process that she deserved a new car for all of the work she put into our big day. I couldn’t have done it without her. I was in college at the time, four hours away from our wedding venue (aka our home) so she was a saving grace when it came to site visits, etc. She and my bridesmaids gifted me the sweetest handwritten notes during my bachelorette party, and I still look back on those. I’m a sucker for a handwritten note! They mean so much more to me than material gifts, so it was extra sweet when Pearce wrote the most thoughtful letter for me to read right before walking down the aisle.

What was the best wedding gift you received? One of my sweet bridesmaids, Taylor, gifted me the most beautiful punch set. I love that she chose something so unique and special, knowing I would actually get some use out of it! I love entertaining! I’m actually hosting a bridal shower for my best friend later this month and can’t wait to show it off. I smile everytime I see the set in my cabinet!

What inspired your wedding day (theme/look/feel)? It was Southern and classic with a few preppy and vintage splashes. I love history and wanted our wedding to have that old South feel but still be very comfortable and playful. I think we achieved our goal! The venue was gorgeous without a single decoration up, so we pulled a lot of inspiration from the location itself.

What is something you couldn’t live without for your wedding day? The perfect menu. My dad’s catering company took care of the food which made the day extra special because we were able to customize every detail of the menu. A few food favorites from the big day: our biscuit bar with the most delectable spread of jams and toppings, pulled pork, shrimp and grits, banana pudding, and of course - boiled peanuts during the cocktail hour! It was all kinds of yummy.

What is something you could have lived without/changed for your wedding day if you were to do it over? I definitely would have hired a wedding planner. I decided to go without because I thought hiring a planner would mean giving up some of the “control” we had. I’m rather picky, especially about details so I thought I’d lose the personal touches by hiring a wedding planner. I was wrong! Hiring a planner would have been a huge help!

If you have any wedding décor/planning/survival/DIY tips or tutorials, or money saving suggestions, please share: We DIY’d a ton of things for our wedding but I wouldn’t recommend it. DIY a few things of course, but budget so you don’t have to do everything yourself. There are plenty of affordable Etsy shops, websites, and vendors with great rates. Sometimes a few extra bucks isn’t worth the stress of having another thing on your pre-wedding to-do list. I’m a hobby calligrapher so I enjoyed lettering the invitations and paperie for our big day. If you have a talent yourself (and I’m sure you do!) use it. Oh, and get your friends involved! Our wedding party helped out in so many different ways - one of the groomsmen (who’s ridiculously talented) captured our engagement photos, one of my bridesmaids (also ridiculously talented) sang our first dance song, and everyone else chipped in to help make the big day special. So basically, make sure you’re wedding party is full of talented friends. Kidding, kinda. 

Connect with the Bride
Facebook -
Instagram - @McKenzieFussell 
Pinterest - @McKFussell 
Email - McKenzieFussell at gmail dot com

Interested in being the next featured bride? Email me today for the questionnaire!

Fall Home Decor

 Last Thursday was the first day of fall, and I put the final touches of decor throughout the house this weekend. Fall decorations have never been my fave, as I much prefer Christmas glitz, but the more neutral fall palates I've seen growing in popularity the last few years have grown on me. Throw in a little glitter and some mellowcreme pumpkins, and I'm all set!

My lovely tea towels were a gift from a sweet friend, and I know, I know, I need to put pictures in some of my frames. But I wanted to share a few pics of our home {once it was cleaned over the weekend!}.

Now if it would come out of the 80's and give me some crisp and cool 60 and 70 degree temps, I'd be really happy. I've got stacks of sweaters just waiting to be worn!

Mugs & Movies Review | Bridget Jones's Baby

On Tuesdays, our local movie theater offers $5 "Stimulus Tuesday" ticket prices, with a discount on food and drinks, too. How I've only just discovered this, I'm not sure. I'm not really a big movie-goer, but when there is a discount involved, I'm game.

One of my favorite movies is Bridget Jones's Diary, so when I saw the preview for the third installment in the series, Bridget Jones's Baby, I was so excited! The bestie and I decided to head over to the theater this past Tuesday to watch it at a discounted price. But the best part? It was in Mugs & Movies, which is a special screening room inside the theater that serves adult beverages and legit food! Plus, they have way comfier chairs, and unlimited popcorn. I'm down for that any day of the week! 

While the food wasn't anything to write home about, the atmosphere was fun, and the movie was soooo cute. It was kind of long, but I didn't notice a bit from laughing the entire time. Go see it this weekend, it's great for a girls night out!

Happy Friday!

Marrying McAfee | Let's Party!

Oh the wedding of the most fun parts of the day. After dinner, the music cranked up, and everyone hit the dance floor. We had a friend from college {DJ Hurricane Herman, what what!} DJ our reception, which allowed for a lot of personal touches and requests. He definitely played to the crowd and got a lot of people moving, which was important to us. 

We took one break from the party to do the traditional bouquet toss, or throw in our case, and the garter toss. I surprised my maid of honor Kirstie by throwing the bouquet directly at her as a surprise. It was so funny. And Christopher surprised me by having hands full of ice when he went to retrieve the garter! I was so hot that I didn't even feel it for a few just felt wonderful and cool on my legs, but it got icy, fast. 

Both my maid and matron of honor gave heartfelt and memorable speeches. Christopher's best man Elijah was deployed on our wedding day, but he had two great men step in to fill that place. A few weeks before the wedding, I had messaged Elijah to kind of put the idea out there of a surprise speech if it was at all possible. He was able to record his thoughts and our DJ played it for everyone to hear, much to Christopher's surprise. I'm so glad we were able to do that, and include Elijah in our special day from afar.

My Phi Mu sisters also did the traditional wedding cheer, and I was so proud of myself for remembering to bring my candle from the candle-light ceremony announcing our engagement in the Phi Mu house three years prior, almost to the day! I'm so thankful we were able to get a picture with our fabulous photographer, a Phi Mu herself.

Throughout the reception, I could tell that our friends were getting feisty and were creating quite the getaway car. We were scheduled to leave through a tunnel of sparklers at 10:30 p.m., but about 10:15 p.m., I hit my limit. I was exhausted, hot, and just ready to be alone with my husband! So I headed back to the getting ready space, and literally laid on the couch for five minutes while the sparklers were handed out to the remaining guests. When Christopher finally made it back to the room, he asked, "How's my little introvert doing?" He knows me so well, and knew my "socializing limit" had been met!

We spent a few more minutes by ourselves with our photographer and videographer soaking in the last seconds of the day before heading out through the front door through a beautiful tunnel of sparkles. After pulling Saran wrap {and condoms...boys...!} off the car, pushing out dozens of balloons out of the seats, and stuffing my giant dress into the car, we were off! We rode back to our house to change and grab our luggage before heading to Savannah for the night. I think we both couldn't stop smiling all the way home, and kept saying how it was truly the best wedding ever.

Thank you for following along while I chronicled these memories! But no worries, the wedding features will continue, as I have the honor of featuring a few friends and blogging buddies and their wedding days. If you're interested in your wedding being featured, shoot me an email at piperellice at gmail dot com.

Also a huge thank you to all of our family and friends, near and far, who made this day the best day of our lives. We love you all!