Warby parker : Holiday

Otis. Percey. Edgar. Goodney. Louise. Everson.

These aren’t just the hottest hipster baby names of 20-16… these are the names of the latest and greatest frames decking the halls of Warby Parker this holiday season. With jet black lines, tortoise shell detailing, colors of elderflower crystal and sleek cerulean slate, the eyewear that we know you’re looking to pair with your tacky Christmas sweater or celebratory dress is anything but ordinary.

When I lived in New York City, one of my final stops before moving back to NC was going by Warby Parker in SoHo for some new frames. Of course I’d been following the brand for years, and even interviewed with them prior to college graduation, so I was dying to get my hands on and eyes behind the hippest spectacles in the business. Round, rectangular, cateye and square all lived in little shelved homes from the floor to the ceiling of 121 Greene St. Rolling ladders slid across the room as helpful attendants fitted customers with the perfect addition to their everyday “look.” I was hooked, to say the least. From that moment on, it was true love and a lasting relationship!

If I could instantly wish one more pair of frames into my wardrobe (and I just might have to, after perusing this site for hours) it would have to be Percey - Styled seamlessly with round rims and colors of mission clay fade, these specs seem to be the ideal accessory to pair with a chunky cable-knit sweater, leather leggings and combat boots. Top it with a textured beanie and round off the look with a scarf swooped around your neck (and a peppermint mocha on the side, of course) and you and good ol’ Percey are ready for a date night caroling around your favorite neighborhood or looking at lights from the comfort of your car!

So if you’re in a rut on what to buy for your friends and family this year, or what to purchase to treat yourself after all your hard work, I can guarantee with one click of your mouse you’ll be covered. From cute eyewear to funky mugs, canvas tote bags and even presents for your pups -  glad tidings you’ll bring to you and your friends with all that you can find at Warby Parker!

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To My Twin...

As you all know if you follow me on social media, my beautiful little twin got married this Saturday! It was an absolutely gorgeous day, with crazy wind and spectacular flowers and everyone was beaming with happiness. We are all so excited for Laura and Todd and I can't wait to see how God blesses them and uses them as they grow old together!

I thought I'd let ya'll read the speech that I gave at the rehearsal dinner (between my hysterical, droopy mouthed sobs) if you'd like! I was really nervous but it turned out to get a few laughs and tears and I hope it expressed how much they mean to me.

I love you Laura!

Also, ignore any grammatical errors or punctuation - I wrote it in my "speaking voice" so that it was easier for me to deliver it out loud!

 

How do I put into words a friendship, a relationship, and a person that surpasses everyone and anything else in my life (sorry, Sean.)


When God decided to throw my parents for a loop and send them two little babies instead of one, He knew exactly what He was doing. From the very beginning, Laura and I have been more than twins… we’ve been best friends. She’s my person and my other half - and like any famous pair, you really can’t have one without the other. We come as a set. We talk on the phone every single day, we finish each others sentences and we understand each other like no one else can. 


Although we’re entirely identical in so many ways, Laura is still completely one of kind. She cares more than most people, always goes out of her way for her friends and her family, and when she sets her mind on something she dives in head first. If there’s one thing you realize when you get to know Laura it’s that she’s a planner. She’s been that way since day one. Even when we were little, she would take charge when our friends came over. From “fake band names” with Melissa, to playing the role of the mom whenever we would play house, she always took the reigns. And I didn’t mind. I like that about her! It was how we worked as a team, it still is, and she’s good at it. In middle school she knew she wanted platform sneakers and the walls of her room painted “cappuccino brown” and it happened. She wanted to learn to play guitar, and she did it (and I was jealous.) She knew that she wanted to write, and after journaling all throughout her emo days in middle school and joining Lit Mag in high-school, she quickly developed into a fantastic writer. She knew she wanted to move to a big city, and after landing an awesome internship our junior year of college, she packed her bags and moved up to Boston to start her new job as a copywriter at Digitas. And when she comes home to Charlotte, she’ll send our family group text a list of what we will be doing that weekend - with naps and breakfast locations included. Laura’s planning is always precise and detailed. If you can think of it, she has it covered! 


And with all that she’s so perfectly planned in life, Laura also knew that if it was God’s plan, He would ultimately lead her to her perfect match - even though she didn’t know exactly when and where that would fall into her organized, yet busy life. As Laura’s friends (and myself) got married off or dated around, she never worried. She was independent and more than capable or living on her own and still having fun. She knew it would come at the right time and with the right guy and I always admired that about her! From the start, Laura knew what she wanted in a relationship. She even made a list when she was in college of some particular things that she was looking for in a guy… 


- he has to make me laugh until I cry
- he has to be good with kids
- and he has to like hugs because I need at least one good one a day


just to name a few. ….and little did we know that one day the one and only Todd Shipman would fit that list, and so much more, perfectly.


 When Laura called me about a year and a half ago and told me that she met a guy on a Match.com I have to be honest, I was pretty skeptical. First of all, since when was she on Match.com? We’ve all seen the commercials and heard about those crazy stories. Who knows who this random person is that she’s messaging 1,600 miles away in Houston, Texas!? He could be a weirdo that just sits behind a computer screen all day long or he could be married with kids! I really had no idea what to expect. But she was smitten! She raved about this mysterious texas man. Literally from the moment they first typed hello, she texted me about him from sun up to sundown! When we talked on the phone I could hear her smile through our long distance calls. She told me all about him - He was handsome, funny, and sweet. He loved God, he loved Texas, and he loved his family and friends. He seemed like an all around ideal guy… and he may or be not be falling in love with a little southern girl that lived up in Boston. 


After talking and Skyping for 4 months, it was finally the awaited moment for Todd and Laura to meet. I remember that day very vividly. Laura was so nervous and I was nervous for her! She planned exactly what she wanted to wear and texted me up until the moment she got off the T. They were anticipating this day for so long and now they were about to see each other without a screen or cell phone in between them! It seemed like a movie, and I wanted to be in the front seat of the theatre. Of course, as we would expect, Laura had their entire date planned. They met in Harvard square, and Todd “wooed’ her from the very start - showing up with mayhaw jelly, a Texas bandana and flowers! What girl wouldn’t be swept off her feet by a gentlemen like that? After their initial hello I legitimately didn’t hear from Laura for hours and I started to send her one text message after the other
 
“Hellooooo?? Are you alive? How is it going? What are ya’ll doing!? Where are you!? Is he cute? Did you hug? Whats happening!? ”  My anxiety was kicking in. Realistically I should've taken it as a sign that everything was going great, but in my head I was just paranoid that my little twin had been “taken” by a random stranger. If she continued to be MIA I was prepared to fly to Boston and pull a Liam Neeson… “If you let my twin go now, that'll be the end of it. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” I was kind of kidding… but not really. 


In the end, their first weekend together couldn't have turned out any better. They were perfect for each other and they both realized it immediately. It seemed as if after all this time of waiting and praying, God reached down and pulled these two strangers together, from opposite ends of the US, and made the perfect pair. And Although their long distance relationship seemed crazy and complicated to many people, they always made it work. It wasn’t easy, but Laura and Todd put the “long-distance” stereotype to shame. It was fate! And although I wish I could’ve been there to witness more of their dates as they went from dating to “youre the one” , the few times Todd made the trip down to NC to meet our family reassured me that I didn’t need to worry. He fell into place just like any future family member should, and he felt like one of our own.


If there’s one thing I’ve realized as I watch my twin fall in love with her future husband, it’s that even though our last names might not be the same, she’ll always be my other half and my person. There’s no city, no distance, and no one that will ever change that. 


From many drives between Boone and Greenville, to talking on the phone everyday and skyping every week, singing our lungs out in the car and being goofier than most, to lots of trips to the mall, coffee shops and out for mexican food. Boston visits and New York minutes, family trips and sister dates, laughing till we cry as we come up with fake songs about toothpaste or something ridiculous in our bathroom at home, to the best hugs on earth and the hardest goodbyes, and through all of life's ups and downs… Laura Maddox is definitely 100% without a doubt irreplaceable. 


And even though they can’t share a wardrobe or say things at the same time and sound really cool like we can… from the day I heard about Todd I knew he would do a good job of filling my shoes. So cheers to the my best friend, my future brother in law, and my life-long double date and vacation buddies! I’m so happy for you guys and no couple is more deserving than ya’ll. I can’t wait to watch you enjoy married life together and I love you both! 

Recipe Recap

I know a lot of women come up with their own super inventive, extremely unique recipes on their blogs... I'm not one of those women! But what I will do is share my favorite recipes with you guys so you can make them yourself. Some recipes I keep exactly as they are, and others I tweak a little and add my own spin on things. Here are my favorite recipes from this week.... (mostly brought to you via my fantastic Small Group ladies.)

Love & Lemons : Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Photo via : Love & Lemons

Photo via : Love & Lemons

My friend Bryce made these cookies at my small group a week or two ago and I became obsessed with them! I am always looking for a great gluten free recipe. I feel like in the fall it's completely necessary to have something warm and delicious baking, so it's become a bad/great habit of mine lately. 

TWEAKS: I did not add flaxseed meal and as far as I know it didn't change the cookies one bit! I also added shredded coconut to the mixture because I love the sweetness it brings!

Skinny Taste : BBQ Chicken Chili

 Photo via : Skinny Taste

Photo via : Skinny Taste

My mom cooked this chili last year and I love it so much! Barbecue sauce is one of my favorite things (I put it on chicken, sweet potatoes, pork, tacos, etc.) so it was no surprise how much I enjoyed this soup! It's thick like stew, but it's healthy and light so it doesn't leave you weighed down and uncomfortably full. 

TWEAKS: I left the jalapeño out because I'm not a huge fan of super spicy food, but obviously that's optional. In the past I've also added a packet of ranch seasoning and it turns out so great! I love the combo of BBQ and ranch dressing. Yum!

 

Alright, this next recipe actually is an original! I made it up because I love a warm, tasty drink for Autumn and I had a bottle of red wine to spare. My friends loved it and requested that I share the recipe! So here you go...

Lindy's Hot Spiced Wine

 Photo via : Pinterest / Spiced Wine

Photo via : Pinterest / Spiced Wine

1  32oz bottle of organic apple juice

1  16oz bottle of organic orange juice

1  16oz bottle of Gingerale 

1  bottle of red wine (I like red blends because they aren't super sweet or super tart)

1  package of Mulling Spices (wrapped in cheese cloth or poured inside a tea strainer)

1  seedless orange, sliced 

Mix all the ingredients together in a large saucepan and boil on medium heat for at least 15 minutes so that the spices can add that delicious autumnal flavor. Add the orange slices to make it pretty, turn to low and scoop into a big mug and serve! Mmmm. 

 

 

 

MOH Speech.

When I got married over 5 months ago, my twin sister wrote the most heartfelt maid of honor speech of all time. She's truly a fantastic writer and she decided to go with a poem instead of your traditional monologue. Every time I read it I get a huge lump in my throat and cry! It's the sweetest thing on earth. I can't believe she's getting married in November! In less than 100 days it'll be my turn to write a speech dedicated to her and Todd. How will I ever live up to this? ....

 

Where to begin… 
A friendship deeper than words
Than anything.
To my twin and perfect puzzle piece.

Together from day one.

A picnic basket then big girl beds.
Sharing bath time and bed time.
Losing teeth and learning words
On the same clock.

We slept side by side
One room, two little blonde heads
Sound asleep on lamb chop sheets.
American girl dolls, stuffed animals and beanie babies
strewn across the room.

We played house and dress up.
I was orange, you were pink.
And that was that.

We matched in pigtails and overalls
twirled to Mariah Carrey, ran around to Amy Grant.
Belted out Shania
And threw it back to 70s tunes
moonwalking with Dad in the kitchen.

We were Ashley’s life size dolls
Mark’s biggest fans
Mommy’s sweeties
And Daddy’s squirrels. 

Best friends, companions and even competitors.
We were tan and tiny, and you were the tomboy.
We had swing set summers, pool party birthdays
And a childhood that can’t be beat.

 3rd grade and 5th grade classmates.
Growing older, but never apart. 
And then we were middle school bound. 

Straightened hair, tight jeans and
5, 7, 9. We were getting older
getting acne
and getting crushes.

You flipped down the stairs in your Timbalands. 
And we both flipped out about every new release of Harry Potter.

We were avid movie goers and A.I.Mers
Away message posters and “messy bun” pros.
We were going to dances, going through drama
And going down down with Fall out Boy.

We were church camp roommates,
Bible study buddies, 
And pretty disrespectful to our parents.
Whoops.

By eighth grade we had made it out alive. 
With braces. 
And then we were Panthers.

Freshman, best friends, 
and lunch buddies always, 
we were music blaring-loners,

Under the desk readers,
And a little too unconcerned with school.

As the morning driver, I let you sleep. 
Coming into your room
Off goes the fan, on goes the light,
“get up Lindy…”
But really…get up. We’re gonna be late. 

 We were soft ball players
And Godiva chocolate cheesecake addicts.
And all we needed was each other.

You were my person. My confidant.
My forever best friend. My twin-lin.
Part of my nightly routine

“Goodnight Lindy, I love you!
I love you too!
I’ll see you in the morning. 
K.” 

And then, in the blink of an eye,
East and West we went.
Dividing sweatshirts,
t-shirts, jeans and shoes.

Purple and gold, Black and gold
Hugging so tight we couldn’t breathe.
And that’s when you met him.

Freshman year at ECU. 
Your new best friend, your Wendy’s buddy.
Sean Barcellona.

“He’s like you in guy form” you’d said.
And I could deal with that.

You were beaming.
Laughing hysterically.
Falling in love and I loved it.

A front row seat to my little twin’s story. 
I knew why you liked him.
Goofy and sweet, cute and athletic, 
and he treated you like a queen.

He was your frat guy, formal date, and fellow Pirate.
New red cowboy boots, Trips to the Jersey shore.
He made you happier than ever
and that was all I had ever wanted.

 I welcomed him with open arms
And he bought me Reeses. 
So I decided you could keep him around.

Years went by and I became the third wheel
that actually felt wanted
And I was thankful for that.

Never replaced, but willing to see my place.
I watched the two of you lean on each other
Through sunshine, rain,
And your fair share of storms.

You turned each other to God,
Sang with accents in the car
And reminded each other that laughter, dogs, and working out
were always the best medicine.

 6 years of ups, downs,
and lots of lattes, 
I hugged you both along the way. 
And so I just knew
A ring and a wedding made sense. 
And I was happy to be in on it.

You’re growing up,
finding your way,
and getting married.

A friendship deeper than words
Than anything.
To my twin and perfect puzzle piece.

 Today I raise a toast and smile
knowing that you’re ending up with the only other puzzle piece
that I see fit.

 

 Photo by : Cameron Faye Photography

Photo by : Cameron Faye Photography