Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Mr. and Mrs. Phillips!

This year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time. We have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed!

Let's Talk Weddings in the Mile High City

 Once upon a time I was given the awesome opportunity to attend the Association of Bridal Consultants annual conference held this year in Denver, Colorado. And, IT WAS AWESOME! I was consistently blown away by the wealth of knowledge and professionalism to surround myself.

When I arrived, the snow started to fall. It couldn't have been a more perfect welcoming!

I set up the Wedding Protector Plan's booth shortly after getting settled. Our giveaways were bling pens and we also had a drawing for a Coach purse.  (I think it goes without saying that our booth was a hit!)

 On the first night of the conference, ABC kicked things off with a Tailgate Party. We were told to wear a jersey from our favorite team. There is no doubt about which team I flaunted! I even found a few new friends! On the left is Kamarah Angus of Kalydaskope!

 And then I bumped into celebrity wedding planner, Donnie Brown!

Take a peek at some of the table decor from breakfast and lunch!

The breakout information sessions were fabulous! I learned SO much and walked away incredibly inspired. My favorite session was from Rebecca Grinnals, the co-founder of Disney Fairytale Weddings. She was all about wedding trends! 

Everyone was so kind and passionate about their work in the industry. I definitely felt like I was exactly where I should have been.

Before heading back to Tampa, I just had to have my book signed by Donnie! And take a real picture too!

I gave him a bling pen - check out what he signed in my book...

Ha! What a character he was!

Now I'm back home full of ideas! I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and I'm already gearing up for next year's conference in West Palm Beach, Florida!

Stride for Strays 2012

October is a jam packed month! Sean and I just finished our fourth Stride for Strays! Every year we fundraise for this event to benefit the Animal Coalition of Tampa

This year I put together a team of people from my work called, Cheetahs for Paws. We raised over $1,400! Woohoo!


Well hello there 26!

Before I knew it again, my birthday had crept up on me and it was number 26. 

And what a great birthday {weekend} it was! 

This is it in a nut shell...

It was a lovely weekend spent with my favorite people at my favorite restaurants and places. I'm now rocking a new Michael Kors watch and black flats as well as a lovely Coach bag. Sean surprised me with a visit to the zoo - did you know you get in free on your birthday?! Did I say I was turning 26? I meant 6! Just kidding, it was truly perfect for me!

It's Better In the Bahamas!

As if we hadn't traveled enough, we hopped on a cruise ship a few days after returning from Atlanta. We were sailing to the Bahamas to officially celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Neither of us had been and it was just what we needed!

First stop, Senor Frogs because we both know that place is always a good time! ... Then, shopping!

The rest of the day we hung out at a little hotel called Atlantis. 

That night, I was fully prepared to watch the wildcard playoff game. For some reason, the game wasn't shown on the boat and thank goodness it wasn't! It was a nasty game with a nasty call causing us to lose! Boo!

 The next day was spent on Carnival's private island, Half Moon Cay. It was gorgeous; I've never seen water so clear and blue. 

And what cruise would be complete without towel creations?

The Bahamas was a perfect way to celebrate an incredible year! I'm so lucky to be in love with my best friend!

An Evening with the Giuliana & Bill

Bill and Giuliana Rancic came to USF as part of the University Lecture Series. Sean being the supportive husband, tagged along with me to see them. I had always watched Giuliana on E! and admired her style. I had no idea what kind of struggles she went through though. Her story was so inspiring and the love between her and Bill was adorable!

Both Bill and Giuliana signed my book after the lecture. I wasn't able to get a photo (I was NOT happy about that!) but we did have to sign a release waiver because their show was filming that night.

(December edit: Yours truly made the show for split second! Look for me on the season finale in the audience!)

"Put YOU on your own to do list." - Giuliana

Farewell #10

Just thinking about writing this post has my eyes welling up with tears! Here goes nothing...

We had known the weekend was going to give us grief for months. This is how our calendar looked:

Friday: Chipper Jones Tribute at Turner Field

Saturday: Event Class for Meagan / USF vs FSU football game at home

Sunday: Last regular game of the Braves season, AKA, Chipper's last regular home game

Monday: Our one year wedding anniversary
We wanted to attend everything but it wasn't physically possible. We made it all events minus Friday's tribute game. We instead watched it stream live online. 

I ran out of my event class on Saturday and we headed to the USF football game. Immediately after the game we drove to Atlanta and arrived around 3:30am. The next morning is when Sean surprised me with a visit to our wedding venue, Victoria Belle. I could have spent all day there but my heart was begging to be taken out to the ballgame.

And so we went!

Oh I cried like a baby when Chipper game up to bat his final time. As tired as we were, it was so worth it to be there that day!

It just won't be the same without you, Jones. Forever #10!

It was a long ride back to Tampa after that game.

Married One Year Back and Back at Victoria Belle Mansion

One year ago I married my best friend at Victoria Belle Mansion. It was only fitting that we went back to take our "one year" picture!

It was an incredible year! And since we're no longer newlyweds, the Southern & Glamorous Newlywed is now the Southern & Glamorous Wife!

First Year of Marriage Gained, A Gallbladder Lost

This time last year Sean and I were already in Georgia putting the final touches onto our wedding plans and getting ready to become Mr. and Mrs. I honestly cannot believe how fast our first year of marriage went!

People always say the first year of marriage is the hardest. And now that's it's been a year (in three days) I can attest to that; it was really hard but also really great. Moving into and living in a 1046 square foot space with another person and two cats was really eye opening!

I really understood the root of what a marriage was when I had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder. Most of our first year of marriage consisted of me being sick and in pain after eating. My doctors' appointments and tests seemed to go on for ever; Sean never became impatient with me and was always there to help make me feel better. 13 days ago I finally got a solution to my problem and my gallbladder was removed. The procedure went great but I was a hot mess. Of course I packed a cute VS PINK outfit to lounge in while staying overnight in the hospital. Of course I brought my makeup. Of course I brought my pink fuzzy slippers. It's me, okay! But no, no cute clothes, no makeup, no fuzzy slippers. It was just me and my lovely over sized hospital gown and socks. 

In my head, I didn't know what was worse, the pain or looking like death for my husband. Even though Sean and I have been together for over four years, I still always want to look pretty for him. There was definitely no prettiness going on that day but he smiled at me and told me I looked pretty anyways.  And when I had to use the bathroom at 3am, it was Sean who woke up instantly, unplugged me from all my cords and machines, and helped me out of bed to escort me to the restroom. This surgery ordeal showed me just what a marriage really consist of - while I absolutely loved our beautiful wedding day, I felt like getting through the not-so-glamorous times together is what really makes us, us.  

It's been almost two weeks since the surgery and I am so thankful because I am no longer sick or in pain. 

It's been almost one year since I married my best friend and I am so thankful because I love him even more. 

"It might not always be easy, but I'll tell you one thing - it's always better when we're together."

One year down - many many more to go!

In the house we yell GO BULLS!

"In this house we yell GO BULLS!"
My sweet husband and I got a little crafty this week and added to our USF wreath. With a little paint on canvas, the house is even more a Bulls home!

Monogram Ribbon Wreaths

What southern girl doesn't love monograms and football?
My sweet best friend is getting married soon and her and her soon-to-be husband are Alabama alums and HUGE fans. This was a pefect opportunity to get crafty!
When I stumbled upon houndstooth wrapping paper, I just couldn't resist!
 Roll Tide Roll*
*When not playing against Georgia!
My husband, being the sports fanatic he is, got a little jealous that we didn't have a University of South Florida wreath to hang on our door to support our alma mater. So....

5 days until kickoff!
My monograms always come from Ten23Designs who does fabulous work!

Hey Good Lookin' What's Cookin?

Pinterest has been a blessing to this newlywed who never cooked before marriage. Since going down the vegan path, my world has opened up to new tastes and smells. Some of my favorite newfound blogs that have great vegetarian/vegan recipes are Oh She Glows, Chocolate Covered Katie, and That Was Vegan?

Check out the recipes that I've recently tried and some are actually "Sean Approved." A little background on this term, my husband used to be known as having the food palate of a child. Chicken fingers, pizza, and meat was all his diet consisted of. Don't even think about asking him to eat vegetables! So, when I started my vegan adventure and no longer wanted to consume dairy, things started changing for the best around here. Sean was actually trying AND liking some of the recipes I tried. If this carnivore could eat and like vegan cooking, ANYONE could!

First up - 

Belgium waffles

Sean will tell you he married me for my waffles. I'll admit, they are pretty amazing! I simply followed a recipe that came with my first waffle maker and that was it. My first attempt to make them vegan failed miserably when I tried to substitute 2 eggs with applesauce. Epic fail! My second attempt worked like a charm and was Sean Approved!

Belgium Waffles
1 cup vegan butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sale
2 eggs equivalent*
2-1/4 cups flour

Mix butter and sugar in a mixing bowl of stand mixer. Cream together on medium-low. 
Add vanilla and salt. Increase speed to medium.
Add eggs equivalent. Mix well until smooth.
Decrease speed to low, add flour. Mix well.

Bake in waffle hour about 3-5 minutes or until steam no longer escapes. Yields 4 waffles.

*Baking powder egg replacer: 
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp of water
1 Tbsp oil

Mix well until combined and gelatinous. Makes one egg.

Next - 

15 Minutes Creamy Avocado Pasta

This recipe was NOT Sean Approved but definitely Meagan Approved. It was the avocados that sealed its fate against Sean! Find the recipe on Oh She Glow's blog. I added tomatoes to add a bit of texture.

Next - 

Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal

Another, just Meagan Approved recipe that was originally vegan and is oh so yummy!  

Photo from Fresh Family Cooking Blog

Huge difference in my photography skills and the creator of the recipe, huh? My breakfast looked no where close to her beautiful breakfast! Haha! Get the recipe on Fresh Family Cooking's blog and start baking!


Non-Dairy Alfredo Sauce

This was definitely Sean Approved and he continued to eat it when I told him it was made with tofu! I found the recipe on Food.com. The side of broccoli was not SA though! I guess I can't push my luck too much if he's willingly eating tofu!

I know it looks like all I eat is pasta and blueberries but I promise I have more variety!

Reader question: Have you been "P"inspired to cook or bake something new? 


Our Wedding: A Few Things We Could Have Done Differently

I've already shared what I feel Sean and I did absolutely right during wedding planning. Here are a few things that we could have possibly done differently looking back.

Not have gotten married during college football season (yeah right!) - Okay, so maybe we couldn’t have done this differently because I was dead set on a Fall southern wedding. We lucked out not having a South Florida game on the weekend of the wedding, but Alabama and Florida didn’t fare such luck as predicted in a previous post. And now that we’re three months away from our one year anniversary, a HUGE USF game is scheduled for our weekend. Hmmm!

So back to our wedding day where a fourth of our guests were diehard Alabama fans and another fourth were Florida fans. Lucky for everyone they were scheduled to play each other that day …lovely.  We have some of the classiest UF alums as friends and class was indeed shown when Bama won the game.  And it was pretty neat seeing all the Alabama fans dancing and singing when the DJ played “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Start the day an hour earlier - Is there every enough time during the day of anyone’s wedding? Ours was no different and I wish we had started getting ready an hour earlier. As soon as my hair and makeup were done, I felt like everything kicked into high gear and the day flew by. Had we had even one extra hour, we would have had a few moments to take it the day in as well as spend more time with our guests at the reception.

Not have left for our honeymoon the morning after the wedding – While I know it’s tradition to leave for the honeymoon right after the wedding reception, I wish we had stayed back an extra day. Since we technically had a destination wedding, almost all our guests traveled and stayed at our hotel. It would have been nice to spend the day after the wedding with everyone and leave for our honeymoon that following Monday.

Some say hines sight is 20/20 but in reality, no wedding will ever be perfect no matter how much planning goes into it. Our day was as perfect as could be in our eyes and my only wish is that I could go back to relive the day!

Reader question: Did you have any hines sight moments after your wedding?