Coffee Date

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Okay friends, this post is long overdue. Why the long wait? We’ve moved! I’m writing this from my couch in Louisville, Kentucky. About 6 weeks ago we found out that the Navy Chaplain Program Scott is in requires him to spend the rest of his studies in person on Southern Seminary’s campus.

We are so sad to leave our community of college friends, family, and church family in DC. We are trying to focus on the positives- being on campus is great for Scott, we have a two bedroom apartment (Allie having her own room has already been SO awesome!) and I get to be a stay at home mom! But our entire adult lives have been spent in DC and so the newness of everything has been more than a little overwhelming.

In terms of blogging, I still want to continue, but one huge change is I won’t be doing fashion posts like in the past. My best friend and photographer unfortuantely didn’t move with us 😦  It was hard with pregnancy and having a baby to schedule the shoots anyway, so it’s probably a natural transition. However, I love fashion blogs and that is what is inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I still plan on having fashion related posts, and several bloggers I follow incorporate them well into their blogs (two of my favorites here and here). If you love fashion blogs and that’s the main reason you were reading, please email me at thissideofparadiseblog@gmail.com and I’d be happy to recommend some of my favorite bloggers that have a similar style to me and are primarily focused on fashion posts! In general, I’m not sure quite what the blog will look like going forward but it’s been in constant transition since I started anyway! Just expect life updates and posts sharing some of my favorite things at the moment 🙂

ALSO, if you’ve visited Louisville (or better, live here!) I would love any suggestions on fun places to go, coffee shops, hidden gems, etc! I have a google map and I’m working on collecting suggestions and scoping them out.

Thanks everyone for your continued support!

 

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Coffee Date

Grab a beverage of your choice (I love chai lattes, but I’m definitely enjoying them iced this summer!), pull up comfy armchair, and put on a fun Spotify playlist (my favorite bluegrass playlist here), because I’ve got a longgg overdue update to follow!

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Scott graduated! I am so impressed by how he finished with a major in Philosophy, a double minor in Business and Naval Science, completed four years of ROTC, and stayed active in campus ministry and the local church- not to mention being married and commuting his final year! Scott’s brother and sister live in the area and were able to come to his graduation, and his parents and Aunt Joan drove down from Massachusetts. Scott also commissioned into the Navy earlier this month, so he is now officially an Ensign! He’ll be taking seminary classes from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for the next 3 years to earn his Master’s of Divinity, serving as an assistant pastor at a church for two years, and then entering the Chaplain Corps. It’s a long road, but we are so thankful that the Lord answered our prayers to open this door! For the next nine months, Scott will be receiving seminary credit for interning at our local church – he just got the set of books he’ll be reading for the internship and is super stoked. I might read a few along with him! 
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At the end of June, Scott and I boarded a plane for Boston to take a Cope family vacation on Cape Cod. Scott’s extended family vacationed on the Cape when he was young, and so it was fun for the family to get back together again. We stayed at a house on the border of Harwich and Chatham, and it was a nice walk or quick drive to the beach. There was also a lovely backyard, where we spent a lot of time playing yard games. The family favorite was Kan Jam (Scott would play for hours every day if he could!)

Scott and I took a day to ourselves and went to Chatham for a mini marriage retreat. We used a set of journals from Val Marie Paper and it was really encouraging to talk and pray about strengths, weaknesses, goals, and hopes for the future.

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Quite possibly my favorite part of the Cape was the gorgeous hydrangeas everywhere! Hydrangeas were our wedding flowers, and I love them!

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Much of the vacation was spent relaxing, which was a much-needed break from the busyness of DC! We found a cute little coffee shop in Harwichport one day and sat outside with our drinks to read Scripture.

cape-1 The house we stayed at- isn’t it charming? I love the traditional Cape Cod shingles!

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On one of our last nights, we visited the Chatham Bars Inn – it’s gorgeous there!

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The Sunday after we left the Cape, Scott preached at his home church on Luke 18. (You can check out the audio to his sermon here). He got to share with the congregation about his seminary studies and admission into the Navy Chaplain Candidacy Program, and it was a really encouraging time!

It was hard coming back to reality after a week and half in Massachusetts, but thankfully the following weekend was our anniversary! This was my parents’ gift to us- the flag that was flown over the US Capitol last year on July 11 in honor of our wedding- how awesome is that?!

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Scott and I first met at Butler’s Orchard in Maryland at a joint campus ministry event, so we decided to celebrate our anniversary by going there for blackberry picking! It was incredibly hot, but so rewarding!

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In other exciting news, we had an ultrasound last week and got to see Allie! She was awake for this one, and it was so incredible to see her moving- especially when she opened her mouth and was swallowing! Thankfully, she is no longer in the 74th percentile for weight but the 29th- she just had a growth spurt early on and I’m so glad it seems like I’m not going to have a 10 pound baby! On Sunday, the church women threw me a baby shower and it was so sweet! I was really encouraged by the devotion that our pastor’s wife led. I know that parenting is going to be hard, but that is why the promise of Christ being magnified in our weakness is is so sweet!

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That’s about all for now…we’re just sitting tight and waiting for Allie to make her debut!

Maxi Dress at Emma’s Espresso

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On Saturday, my good friend Emily and I went to check out a new café in Del Ray called Emma’s Espresso and Wine Bar. While the food was good but not knock-your-socks-off, the décor of the cafe was absolutely perfect. It had a Victorian feel with the silhouette logo and metal deer heads over the cozy fireplace, but I also loved how clean and simple the space was: black and white with silver dining tables and marble countertops. I can definitely see myself going there to meet friends or to sit and read and work on my computer.

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I found this maxi dress on sale at Old Navy for $17, and I absolutely love it! With the ribbon tie, it works for maternity as well as afterwards, and it is perfect for this hot summer we’re having in DC. I paired it with two pieces of jewelry that matched the light blue geometric print perfectly- an Alex and Ani bracelet (I love this specific one because it helps support a Christian organization dedicated to clean drinking water in developing countries) and a beautiful necklace my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas.

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Dress- Old Navy // Earrings- Macy’s // Bracelet- Alex & Ani // Clutch- Marley Lilly // Sunglasses- LOFT (similar)// Necklace- Brighton 

Coffee Date & NYC roundup

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Relaxing and reading wedding magazines

Happy spring! Today in DC the high is 91…so maybe happy summer? Here’s the “highlight reel” of what I’ve been up to the past few months:

I help out with Alex Meyer Events, and my first wedding was for wedding photographer Kimmie Barkley and Andrew Denn. They are such a cute, Christian couple (check out their amazing engagement photos here) and I was so happy to be able to help out with their wedding day!

I loved doing the greenery arrangements!

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How gorgeous is this escort card display?!

I recently won a Lilly for Target giveaway by blogger Petite in Pearls! I was so thrilled, especially since the collection sold out in like, 20 seconds…

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Speaking of Lilly for Target, I have my own very sad-turned-sweet story. The collection was released on a Sunday, and I went to church in the morning, expecting to stop by my local Target in the afternoon. Ha. When I got out of church I realized that pretty much everything was sold out, even in stores 45 minutes away. I didn’t really mind, because I figured I’d just wait until they restocked. Then I started reading news articles that revealed they were not restocking…what?!!!? One of my friends’ sisters wrote this article, which pretty much summed up my feelings. I decided to go to the local consignment boutique and buy a baby Lilly dress for Allie that I had seen there earlier for $20. Guess what? It was gone. Totally disappointed at this point, I decided to go to Target and buy myself some lipstick and hope I might find some looked-over Lilly hairbands in the beauty aisle. I happened to stop by the maternity section to see if they had any shorts. And there, in a return rack in the maternity section, was a bright green dress. Could it be?? I quickly snatched it off the rack and rushed it off to the dressing room. I had found a Lilly for Target dress!!! It was a medium and a loose fitting dress, which meant that it was perfect for a maternity dress! I could not have been more excited!

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This pretty much sums up my feelings

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So thrilled to find a Lilly dress that also worked for maternity!

Some other updates:

I’ve had more time to read lately. Definitely recommend this book!

Pink lemonade hand scrub for my upcoming Etsy shop that’s in the works!

Letter writing to friends

Free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s with Scott. PSA: today is free cone day at Haagen Dazs from 4-8, so definitely hit that up!

Loved the blooming forsythia outside our apartment, so I clipped some for our bathroom!

Easter decor for our apartment

Last weekend, I was in New York City. The family I nanny for had a banquet Thursday night where I watched the baby, but I had a free afternoon on Thursday and most of Friday to explore the city. I am not a New York fan (I feel like you either love or hate the city)- I much prefer Southern cities like Alexandria or Charleston, but I made the most of it and managed to have a good time!

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My room at the Park Lane Hotel

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View from my window

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Starting off the day in NYC!

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Beautiful hydrangeas outside the Plaza

My hotel was right by Central Park, so I spent Thursday exploring the park and going to the zoo- it’s pretty small but was really fun!

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How cute is this little guy? I love red pandas! Our DC red panda Rusty made the news a few years ago when he escaped and was running around local neighborhoods

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View from the Central Park Zoo

Friday morning I went to a women’s Bible study at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (lead pastor is Tim Keller). The ladies were so nice and invited me to have lunch with them! After lunch, I went to the Upper East Side to walk around some shops and get a manicure. I rarely get my nails done (once a year, at most) so this was a fun treat for me!

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Before heading back to Penn station to catch my train, I went to the Sprinkles ATM. It was so cute and fun!

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Red velvet!

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When I arrived at Union Station, I was so happy to be back in DC!

Coffee Date

Happy Monday everyone! Scott and I are headed to Massachusetts to spend the holidays with his family and I’m looking forward to a true New England Christmas (Fingers crossed for snow!)

I’ve got two weeks off for the holidays, one of the blessings of working for a Christian ministry, and am looking forward to reading, watching movies, and waking up without an alarm!

These past few weeks I’ve been busy helping Emily pick out a wreath for her apartment (and new glasses!)

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Exploring new places around the city

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Preparing Christmas gifts

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Decorating the apartment

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And digging into a study of Romans

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 While on break, Scott and I are taking an overnight trip to Maine, and I could not be more excited! I’m already preparing a city guide for Portland, and appreciating inspiration from this one from Design*Sponge. I’ll be sure to share details from our trip on instagram and the blog soon!