Summer 2018 To-Do List


Summer is officially here, though it’s felt like summer for weeks now! Summer signals the arrival of endless pool time, jaunts to the beach, cookouts and grilling, nostalgia for childhood summers, ice cream date nights, hanging our American flag and celebrating the 4th of July, catching fireflies, lots of watermelon, hosting friends at our new home, and enjoying all that nature has to offer this time of year. I love summertime so much, and the possibilities for this summer are endless. I adore making seasonal to-do lists (as evidenced in 2017201620152014, and 2013), and Rob and I have been brainstorming what we want to check off this summer’s annual bucket list of fun! Wedding season, for me, is definitely in full swing til the end of July, but we’re definitely going to be embracing time when we can to seek out new adventures, explore our area, revisit old favorites, and soak up all this happy season has to offer.

Without further ado, here is this year’s Summer Checklist:

  • celebrate the 4th of July, one of my all-time favorite holidays!
  • hang patriotic bunting on our front porch
  • go to the farmer’s market often + cook lots of seasonal meals and desserts
  • walk around Lake Johnson (where we had our second date!) and kayak
  • visit Charlottesville (our fave!) for a winery weekend with friends
  • go to Umstead Park for a long walk and picnic
  • take a spontaneous day trip (or three!) to the beach
  • visit the sunflowers
  • outdoor movies at the NC Museum of Art
  • Fridays on the Front Porch at the Carolina Inn
  • go shag dancing at North Hills on a Thursday night
  • go to a Durham Bulls game
  • visit Mapleview for ice cream + to sit in the rocking chairs
  • check out lots of local festivals
  • explore the Eno River State Park
  • make ice cream
  • visit Jordan Lake
  • go to Whiskey Kitchen and Hummingbird in Raleigh
  • play tennis 2x a month (and mixed doubles, too!)
  • host a housewarming cookout at our new home

I think that’s more than enough to include on this year’s edition of my annual summer checklist! We are so lucky to live in an area that has so many fun activities going on, and I love getting out an exploring new-to-us areas and events, seeking out adventures, and spending time with loved ones during such a beautiful season.

What are you most looking forward to this summer Do you have anything new you’re itching to check out or try? And if you have any local favorites (in the Triangle of NC), you know I’m all ears to hear more suggestions and ideas!


Our Wedding | Bride and Groom Portraits


Wildly grateful for over a year of marriage to my handsome, thoughtful, selfless, incredible husband! It’s amazing how time simultaneously flies (how has it been a year already?!)… and yet, so often we still look at each other and say, “I can’t believe we’re married!” What a comforting thing it is to have someone to share the joys and trials of life with, to have a companion to celebrate with and a shoulder to cry on, to be a sounding board for ideas and dreams and goals, to have a constant rock and inspiration, to have a lifelong partner and adventurer, and to be in love with with your best friend. Marriage is can have its challenges at times, but it’s also the most rewarding, comforting, joyful thing… and just plain fun, too! Rob, I adore you, and I’m so glad you made me your wife!

Thanks for letting me share copious amounts of portraits of the two of us from our wedding day! Ally and Bobby captured countless images we adore, and you can bet that many of these have been framed and hung all over our home. I love how they effortlessly bring out and capture our love, joy, and excitement from our wedding day, and I cannot articulate enough how fantastic our photographers (and friends!) are. We cherish these images and always will.


all stunning images by the incredible Ally and Bobby

Our wedding: getting ready

Our wedding: bridesmaid reveal

Our wedding: praying together

Our wedding: first look with my dad

Our wedding: bridesmaid prayer

Our wedding: guys getting ready

Our wedding: invitation suite

Our wedding: wedding party portraits

Our wedding: bridals and bridal bouquet

Our wedding: the ceremony

Our wedding: family portraits

Our wedding: cocktail hour

Our stellar vendor team, whom we adore so much and are endlessly grateful to:

Photographer Ally and Bobby
Wedding planner, designer, stylist (me!) Stephanie Shaul Events
Wedding coordinator Happily Ever After
Venue Merrimon Wynne
Florals Serendipity Designs
Catering Beau Catering
Cake The Cupcake Shoppe
DJ Bunn DJ Co.
Hair + makeup Teighla Norris
Invitations Sage Paper Co.
Programs + verse sign Sage Paper Co.
Calligraphy Stephanie Shaul Events
Vintage stamps Verde Studio
Rentals CE Rental
Bar + napkin rental Cottage Luxe
Brass candlesticks Greenhouse Picker Sisters
Cocktail napkins For Your Party
Officiant Tyler Jones of Vintage Church
Ceremony cross Homemade Bride
Guestbook Bible IV Leather Goods
Wedding gown New York Bride and Groom
Jewelry Kate Spade and Moon and Lola
Ties High Cotton Ties and The Tie Bar