Monday, March 31, 2014

Palmer's Birthday Bash

Happy Monday Loves! 

We had a fabulous weekend, filled with love, laughter and Palmer face planting a  cup cake! Our nephew's farm animal themed birthday party was a hit even if the rain kept the Teeny Tiny farm away. I think you will see that Palmer had such fun celebrating with his family and friends!

 Check out that face!

If you knew his father you would agree... like father, like son! 
Reid and I had so much fun hosting this party and the smile on our nephew's face was thanks enough!

  We wish you all the best in the world and hope you have a magnificent year Palmer Nash! 


Auntie and Uncle Reid

ps.... You better believe that Reid and I spent most of Sunday on the couch - sometimes you just need a day of relaxation right? 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!
I had so much fun linking up with the ladies who host Five on Friday last week, I just had to follow suit today!

One: New Lighting
So, my new lighting was installed yesterday and I am loving it! I will do a blog post on the entire reveal but for now, here is a sneak peek...
please excuse my messy dining room table!

Two: Cooking at Home
We are really trying to not eat out so much and "try" is definitely the operative word here. Reid and I just love to try new places and Richmond is overflowing with them, thus making our task a hard one. We did manage to eat a few meals in this week - I even cooked!  Due to time and laziness, I opted for blue box mac and cheese but this recipe is soo much better!

Oven fried pork chop, blue box mac and cheese and fresh green beans with lemon and feta!

Three: Ballet
So pumped about taking ballet again. I was pretty into it as a kid and am just loving it as an adult! There is an amazing reverence that takes place at a ballet studio, it is unlike any other place I know. I really look forward to Monday nights even if I get yelled at for chewing gum in class and feel like my legs are going to fall off!

Four: Birthday Party Weekend
Reid and I are hosting our two year old nephew's birthday party this weekend at our house. I am so looking forward to his Farm themed party clad with mini animals and B.B.Q! Let's just pray the rain holds off until the Teeny Tiny Farm makes their appearance in our backyard!

Five: Reid
He is such a trooper y'all! He has been so great these last couple weeks by helping out around the house in prep for Palmer's party!
Have a wonderful weekend Loves!!!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Commitment issues.... Lighting

Y'all, I must confess....

I was having major commitment issues on selecting lighting for our home. I love helping associates and clients select their dream lighting but when it came time to do it for myself, I couldn't do it. When we bought our home, the most exciting part for me was the potential to order new lights....but I just could not commit to anything! I get asked all the time "what light fixtures do you have in your house? They must be amazing!" NO, the sad reality is that most of my light fixtures are circa 1990 and ugly worn brass because I could not make my mind up! UGH

I don't know how many light fixtures I sent to Reid before we landed on the design below. Honestly, I think he gave in because he was tired of me being so indecisive and just wanted me to stop talking about it.... hmmmm what a clever husband!

Anywho, the lights are all in and I have the electricians scheduled for Thursday to hang these gems! I think my selections really embody the look I was trying to achieve:
 inspired industrial meets crisp colonial

Want to see my final selections?

 Of course you do!

Breakfast Room and Side Entrance
{see the space here}


Dining Room
{see the space here}


Landing downstairs
Landing upstairs

 Phew,  glad my lighting commitment issues can be put to rest and I am sooooo ready to see these babies installed! I am dying to know what you think and don't worry, I will def post a before and after next week to give you the full affect.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

CAD I am linking up with Kim at Seven Thirty Three for her Inspire me Wednesday!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Let's play catch up!

Happy Monday Loves!

Thank you so much for the sweet notes and positive attitudes about my arm pit woes. What a warm welcome back to Virginia Sweet. After re-reading my previous post, I realized that not all was doom and gloom over the last 5 months. Why don't I  catch you up on the marvelous happenings during my hiatus?

 A new job for me!
This was taken in October when I started my position
My company has provided me with the most wonderful opportunities both professionally and personally. In October, the enterprise let me check off a major career goal and offered me the Lighting Manager position for our Richmond branches. I have been working towards this position for most of my career as lighting is a true passion of mine. It is such a blessing to wake up everyday and love what you do... not very many people get to say that!

 Palmer Nash is two! 

 My handsome and charismatic nephew Palmer turned two this month...time has just flown by with this little man. He brings such love and joy to our life. Palmer is full blown talking these days and of course it melts our heart when he says Auntie and Uncle Reid (it comes out more like Hauntie and Uncle Weed which is so stinkin cute!). He is in to cars, trains, soccer and his new baby sister. That's right! We have another little bundle of joy to spoil! What a grand year for my brother and his wife. I could not be happier for this family.

Meet Miss Libbie Jane

Introducing our new niece, Miss Elizabeth "Libbie" Jane. She made her entrance into the world earlier this month and is really something else y'all!  So sweet, feminine, beautiful, peaceful and she smells just like a newborn should - devine. My father is convinced she looks like me when I was born, which again, melts my heart. I am just in love with her little hands!

I am sure you are reading this and thinking, "Caroline, have a baby of your own already!" Don't worry, babies are def on our horizon just not right this second. We are having too much fun being Auntie and Uncle Reid at the moment! 

 Not only were my bro and his wife busy this year expanding their family, my friends seem to have followed suit. Reid and I are the president and CEO of the Richmond chapter of DINKS (dual income no kids) and loving that we get to spend time with everyone else's babies! My college besties have been blessed with new babies of their own and our get togethers are full of rubbing bellies, passing babies around, mocktails and me drinking. Even Reid's friends are getting in on the action (pun intended). We could not be happier for our friends and look forward to what the future holds!

We made it a year!!!
Check out my  wedding pictures here!
Reid and I toasted to our first year of marriage this past December - whooohooo! To celebrate, we spent a relaxing, snowy weekend in the inner harbor of Baltimore. Great food, a wonderful inn and a handsome husband are the makings for a perfect get away right before the Christmas crazy. 

Writing this post makes me smile and excited to tackle this cold and gray Monday. I am thankful for all the wonderful things that grace my life everyday.  What are you thankful for this Monday?



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Five on Friday - Spring Essentials

Spring Essentials

Happy Friday Loves! 

 Since Spring has officially sprung,  I am linking up with the ladies that host the Five on Friday party to share five essentials to Spring you into the mood! 

1. Tieks Camel flats
Who doesn't need a neutral flat you get to through the awkward transition between winter and summer clothes? Something to wear between your Frye boots and your Jack know what I mean? Who am I kidding....I have been itching for any excuse to snag a pair of these babies and Spring gave me just the opportunity! I was in need of new flats for work and this camel color is just the ticket to complement my over extensive navy or orange wardrobe. 
Now, can I just gush on my amazing experience with this company for a minute? The free shipping, the wide color options, the fit and feel and let's not forget about the hand written note the Tiek's team included in my precious flower toped shoe box - I could not be happier with my new shoes....they even feel awesome on!  

My friend Ashley introduced me to this sassy Essie color and I think it is the perfect Spring color! It is the best shade of magenta and will be a great transition from the grays I have been rockin this winter. And what about that name? It immediately makes me think about one of my favorite Spring wedding cocktails - a Dirty Shirley! YUM

3. Gin 
Gin has become my definite drink of choice for the warmer months! I am loving to add a little squeeze of grapefruit or a couple slices of cucumber to my regular gin and tonic.  Try this and I promise you will be left with a refreshing and colorful cocktail just perfect for Spring!

Reid and I are headed to Charleston in early May and since I am cousins with Casper the Friendly Ghost, I am in need of a fabulous one piece to help hide my translucent, white tummy... enter this adorable one piece from Anthro! The one piece part makes this the perfect spring to summer suit and the lower cut halter adds a little something sexy.... I ordered it in black but isn't this orange color divine? Clearly I am obsessed as I have tried it on like 8 times already!

So, I am in love with Kate Spade's Grace Blue color! It works so nicely with my go to colors of orange and navy and is ideal for Spring! I was so excited to retire my winter purse and break this baby out! It puts the perfect springy pep in my step and makes me feel all trendy and stuff.

I don't know about y'all but we have had a very snowy winter in Richmond and I am ready for some warmer weather! I hope you find these essentials fun and inspiring .... what are your Spring favorites? 

Till next week!


Monday, March 17, 2014

my blog died with my armpit...

I never thought those words would come out of my mouth…. but it is the honest truth. I have been MIA for quite some time, not only on Virginia Sweet but in life. I checked out for a couple months to deal with some deeply personal and not so fun stuff…

This past July I thought I had nicked myself shaving under my arm pit and by mid August, I had developed a cyst along with a painful rash. I finally went to the doctor at the end of August where I was placed on my first round of antibiotics. The weeks and months that followed were rough to say the least. I was passed back and forth to 4 different doctors, 7 different antibiotics, 2 surgeries and weekly trips to doctor’s offices.  I was basically on an antibiotic from late August to early January and nothing seemed to work.
 In October, my surgeon confirmed that I had developed a staph infection and all outward signs pointed to MRSA.  Every single culture that was taken tested negative for MRSA but we could not find an antibiotic that would fight my infection. I was diagnosed with a “Super Bug” meaning that I have a form of staph that is resistant to most antibiotics.  My surgeon looked at me one day and said “I hate to tell you this but you have stumped me, I just don’t know what else to do”.  So I was sent to a dermatologist that specialized in dermatological diseases. Things got worse before they got better as they always do. In November, I was placed on a long term antibiotic and things were looking brighter for the first time in a while – THANK GOODNESS. I was on this drug, along with 2 topical antibiotics, for a month and by mid December things were almost cleared up. I was over the moon excited! We went out, celebrated, I drank a lot (I had not been drinking due to the antibiotics all Fall), we traveled to South Carolina to see Reid’s family… things were getting back to normal.

or so I thought…

Christmas eve, I noticed another cyst under my arm. Due to the holiday, my Derm could not see me until the 27th.   It was by chance that I also had my annual with my OB scheduled for the 27th in the morning and then my appointment with my Derm that afternoon…. My poor OB got an ear full when she asked “How are things?”…off I went in grave detail about my experience over the last 5 months. She asked if she could look at my underarm and very casually said, “You know what? This looks like a skin disease called hidradenitis suppurativa.”


This is all I could come up with….. what the hell is that? What the hell is my OB telling me this for; doesn’t she know I have already been to like 4 other doctors? What the hell do we do to get rid of this thing? What the hell were my other doctors doing this whole time? How the hell do you even say or spell this disease?

My OB explained that this disease is common in “other” woman parts of the body so she sees it a lot. It normally does not manifest into staph (lucky me!) and my other doctor's first priority was to treat my infection. She wrote down the name of the disease on her card for me to give to my Derm.

You better believe that the first thing I did when I got back to work was Google this crazy sounding disease….. WHAT THE HELL? This is a chronic, no cure autoimmune disease that is very hard to diagnose and most people end up on antibiotics for the rest of their lives.

I was very emotional that afternoon when I saw my Derm, I just handed her the card and told her about my morning appointment.  She took one look at it, went and got her laptop, brought it over to me and showed me her notes from our first appointment…. “Patient shows signs of HS (hidradenitis suppurativa)”…. She had been suspecting this all along but needed to get rid of the antibiotic resistant staph.  I felt better but what did this mean for me longterm? 

My Derm removed the cyst that day and sent it in for testing. Prescriptions were written for long term antibiotics to be used at my digression when I am flaring or felt another cyst coming on. I was stitched up and sent home.
After my blood tests and biopsy of my cyst came back – the results suggested that I did indeed have HS. First came the tears.... then a sense of relief. I cannot tell you how relieved I felt just knowing what I had – finally after 6 months of craziness…. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Each week that passes after my diagnosis is better than the one before it! Things are brighter and brighter everyday!
My close friends and family know the health struggles and depression I have been fighting and it is only in the last month where I feel like my old self again. I want to thank everyone in my life that pulled me through this. Thank you to my work family, who dealt with my hysteria and crying before and after dr’s appointments with such compassion and grace. Thank you to my girlfriends, who checked up on me, made me go out to dinner and loved me when I was not a great friend in return. Thank you to Kristen, my BFF, who called me and put me in my place, who would not let this disease and depression get the best of me. Thank you to my family and especially my parents, your tireless support and encouragement meant the world to me. And the biggest thank you goes out to my Husband… Who would have thought that when you said “in sickness and in health” meant dressing, cleaning and shaving my armpit? You have been my rock through this, even though I lost my patience and cried a lot because you did not do things exactly as the dr did, you are amazing and supportive.
This was a really scary post to write but very important to me. There are so many things that I wanted to say…. things about my depression and fears but at some point, I have to stop feeling sorry for myself, and start living. I AM learning to live with HS and things are going pretty great! I had another break out last month but I used my antibiotics and caught it early. See …… brighter and brighter each day!



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