Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wedding Updates and Honeymoon Locale

The big girl world is keeping me busy, but I wanted to list out all of the progress on our upcoming wedding.

Current Vendors:

Venue:  Foundation for the Carolinas
Photog:  Kristin Vining Photography
Hair, Makeup, Styling: Lindsey Regan Thorne
Flowers:  The Bloom Room
Cake:  Cake Lady Jill (tasting next Saturday)
DJ:  Split Second Sound
Save the Dates, Invites, and all things paper:  Olive Paper
Planner:  Katrina Hutchins of Come+Together Events

What's left?  Catering.  That beast will be conquered next weekend (hopefully).

Below is our baller design board created for our wedding by Come+Together.  Gorgeous, right?  I can't wait to bring this to life (well, really watch everyone else bring it to life).

Now for the Honeymoon...  Zack's favorite topic, ha.

I have been sweating this one big time, but the decision has been made.  I wanted to go to Greece SO BAD.  But, alas, I was told by two travel agents that it would be cold, wet, and miserable in early April.  Greece was then taken off the books.  From there, I was completely uncertain.  I thought I was dead set against Mexico, but I got several recommendations for the Rosewood in Mayakoba, Mexico.  The Rosewood is a beautiful set of boutique hotels.  I did NOT want an all-inclusive or a chain like Sandals, but I wanted a resort that had a lot to offer.  I think the Rosewood has it all -- beautiful accommodations, our own pool, and fabulous food.

Other recommendations:

Esperanza Resort 
Viceroy Anguilla 
Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

Have a great rest of the weekend!


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last weekend Zack and I took a weekender trip to the great state of Iowa to visit our friends Colt and Kelli.  Colt was a law school classmate of mine and Kelli is his girlfriend.  We arrived in Iowa about 10:30 Friday night and got back to big ole Beulaville at about 10:30 Sunday night.

While in Iowa, we decided to catch an Iowa Hawkeyes game.  Unfortunately, they didn't play too well, but we managed to have fun anyways.  Colt and Kelli live in Des Moines Iowa, but the game was in Iowa City so we got to see a bit of the scenery.  Zack felt right at home with corn, big fields, and so forth.

Colt and Kelli:  Thanks for the hospitality!  We had a wonderful time.
On the way to the game...

The four of us at the game!

On the way home...

Have a great week my friends!  



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Working 9 to 5...

Dolly Parton lies.  There's no such thing as working 9 to 5.  Or so I am learning now that I have entered "big girl" world.  Really, I am just trying to find an excuse for my lack of blogging.  

I've got a few things to post, but for tonight I will leave you a list of what our house has been up to:

1 - Work, work, and more work 
2 - A surprise trip to the Queen City for Lauren's birthday
3 - We've booked a trip to Iowa to visit my law school friends in mid-October
4 - I've plotted our elopement (kidding Mom)
5 - We've met new friends here in the country - yay!
6 - We taught Whiskey to sit and retrive 
7 - We registered for wedding presents 
8 - And we have done a little more working...

Have a great week my loves!  xoxo


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Need a good smile?

Picture taken of Whiskey and his best friend, Bama, at Animal House Doggie Day Care

Saturday, September 8, 2012

M.I.A. for a REASON

Yes, I know I have been missing in action - at least from the blog!

But, I've been starting my new life.  A life that doesn't include daily classes, exams, homework.  FINALLY...YES...FINALLY...I am official.  On Monday, August 27th, I ran out to mailbox (maybe at olympic record speed) found my letter from the bar, ripped it open, read Congrats, and my dreams came true.  I passed the BAR EXAM.  After years of school, a summer of hell, and a pile of money...I got the news that I would be a real lawyer.

The next day...I started work at my firm.  

NOW...I am trying to settle in to how different school is from reality.  So far, so good.  I don't think the stress is going to be any less nor do I think the hours will be less, but I do know that I am so thankful to the big guy upstairs for getting me this far.

My Dad, however, reminded that this isn't "the end."  I haven't crossed the finish line.  I haven't completed my life's work.  Instead, it has just begun...

I'll be back with more posts this coming week.

For now, I am being the project manager of Zack's "honey do" list.  



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Honeymoon Ideas - Recommendations Needed

Zack and I are just starting to discuss our honeymoon.  We've really got no definitives or must haves--although we've got some preferences.  Briefly, I thought we had settled on Santorini, Greece, but the country has been suffering continuous turmoil as of late and I am not sure it is the smartest decision (it's still on the maybe list though).  We may be leaning towards a European destination.

Thus, I turn to all of you for recommendations.

We'd prefer:

European beaches or South America or maybe the Caribbean Islands
BUT NO Mexico, Jamaica, Aruba, Hawaii, or stateside locale  
Somewhere not all-inclusive (no Sandals or Couples Resort)
Somewhere warm in April (so I can pack floppy hats, bikinis, and dresses

Ok, let me know your top picks! (I am also open to advice on places to steer clear of...)

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What We've Been Up To...

Well, I am still house managing.  Blah, blah, blah.  Hopefully, I'll have my results in a week or so.

We broke up the monotony of my house management this past weekend and made a trip to the Queen City.  We stayed with my parents and our pup, Whiskey, even tagged along for the ride.  Whiskey thought Grandma's house was the best.  Unlike my minimalistic style, Grandma Linda has tons of things to get into in her house (Whiskey thought the house plants were super yummy so I had to spend the weekend digging them out of his mouth).  He also came home with a pair of Grandma's old bedroom shoes because he decided they made a great chew toy.  

While in my favorite city, I managed to meet with Katrina & Meredith of Come+Together Events.  More on that meeting later--it is deserving of its own blog post.  We also registered for gifts.  Zack, begrudgingly, went with me to Southpark on Saturday morning to start our registries at Belks and Crate & Barrel.  He pouted about it until we got the magical scanner and started to zip around the store.  After about 2 hours of registering, I was over it and we hit up City Tavern for beer and mimosas.  Needless to say the registries need major work, plus I haven't even made it to Target yet.  Oh well, it will get done.

Ok, back to house management...see you guys tomorrow with some wedding planning news.


The best House Manager ever     

Monday, August 13, 2012

Big Girl Wardrobe

Sunday was supposed to be a beach day, but with gray skies and rain showers, we ended up doing a little shopping at Mayfaire in Wilmington.  I ended up adding a few pieces to my "big girl" wardrobe and coveting a few others.  Zack was my fashion consultant.  Believe it or not, he's a farmer with a little bit of fashion sense.  I can get him to wear designer jeans, blazers, and beautiful button-downs, but I am still working on the bow-tie.  The day will come...      

Things I am loving at JCrew currently for all those working women out there:
Super figure flattering.
Shown in boulevard green, purchased in black.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Although I didn't purchase any new jewelry this time, they've got an amazing selection of unique pieces right now (albeit pretty darn expensive).  A girl can dream, right?

Flower Lattice Necklace



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wedding Updates (or lack thereof)

It is perfectly acceptable to drink champagne on Thursdays with nothing to celebrate, right?  I sure hope so because that's exactly what I am doing now.

Today, as House Manager,  I have been trying to wedding plan.  As I said earlier on facebook, the only thing I can really commit to is Zack.  That's a good start, right?  That may be a little dramatic, as I have the venue, the dress, the photographer, and a stylist.  However, all those decisions were made at least 6 months ago.  Since then, the wedding planning has gone stale.  Yep, stale.

My mission today was to change that.  So, I started my day with a chit chat with the DJ company Split Second Sound.  Word on the street is that they are one of the best DJ companies in town.  "We clicked" on the phone and the breadwinner around here agreed to pricing so I just need to get the contract in the mail.

From there, I turned to finding a bakery for our wedding cake.  Here's the problem:  I've got champagne taste on beer budget.  I am not talking like your champagne you buy off the shelf at Harris Teeter that costs like $10--I am talking like the champagne that Christian Grey romances Anastasia Steele with in Fifty Shades of Grey (for Fifty fans, that's like 200 bucks).  Couple this fact, with the fact that my Mom and I analyze everyone's wedding cake, AND we've got big problems.  Yep - we are regular cake analysts.  When we go to a wedding we ask:  How clean are the lines?  How good does it taste?  Is it unique?  Etc...  It is just something we've always done.  Probably, due to the fact, that we've had some massive cake flops over the years [Mom, remember my high school graduation cake?].  With all that said, the cake is a huge dilemma.  Thanks for all the suggestions made via facebook.  I'll be researching them all.

I should also admit that this wedding has no theme, no colors, and no direction.

Other big ticket items remaining:  catering & invites.

Like all other brides that have come before me, all these decisions will eventually get made.  I asked Zack today what would make him happy at the wedding and he just wants good booze (that was a given).  On the scale of helpful, that ranks pretty low.

Alright, back to drinking my champagne.  I'll be back soon with some more updates (or lack thereof).




Monday, August 6, 2012

House Manager

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I have always had some sort of title--undergraduate student, law student, clerk, intern, assistant, etc.  Now, I have been relegated to staying at home until I find out whether I have passed the bar.  So, today I coined myself "House Manager."  I think it is a good fit...I am Type A, controlling, forever seeking perfection, etc.  Too bad we don't have a vast estate for me to manage--I can take care of 1200 square feet in a jiffy.  

So what does a House Manager do you ask?  I make sure the house is spic and span, the bills are paid, the pup is groomed, and etc.  There's one task that all house managers must also  If you have any sort of personal relationship with me, you know I consider cooking to consist of going to the local restaurant and picking up a to-go bag and bringing it home.  Being that the only option around here for takeout is pizza and chinese, I have decided I might actually have to start conforming to the traditional definition of cooking.  So, tonight, I am cooking in our actual kitchen.  It is a big night around here.  The breadwinner around here wants to eat around 7:30.  I'll report back on whether it is edible. 

If the above two paragraphs sound like I am slowly loosing my mind as a stay-at-home dog mom, I am.  I've now completed all 3 of the Fifty Shades of Grey books.  Is it bad for me to say that I wish there was a fourth?

So, for now, I am going to continue being the House Manager for the handsome breadwinner.  I need more things to manage--just not real babies.          



The House Manager

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Country Livin' at 24

I AM BACK to facebook, the blogging world, and life generally.

I'll blog about the bar exam later (let's just say it was traumatic).  Note:  I'll have no results for 5 weeks or so.

I've had a whole lot of life changes in the last few days.  On Friday, I packed up my 2-story loft and traded it in for small-town country living.  This came with a whole lot of mixed emotions.  I am happy to be with Zack, but less happy to give up coffee shops, boutiques, family and friends.  Luckily, my soon-to-be in-laws are fab and my sister and niece live here.  

Also, on Friday, I got one hell of a gift--a PUPPY.  Yes, a german short-haired.  He's six weeks old and pretty darn tiny.


After much deliberation, we named him Whiskey.  Whiskey likes to sleep all day and party all night.  Zack contemplated naming him NEMO.  (Don't tell him I am dishing his secrets).

Today is my 24th birthday.  There will be no popping champagne, but instead a trip to the vet for Whiskey's first round of shots.     

So, for now, I'll be a stay-at-home Mom to Whiskey and I'll be tapping my foot while I wait on bar results.  Kudos to those who stay at home.  I am on Day 2 and I may be a certified nut by Friday.

Love to you all,


P.S.  Maybe I should start planning a wedding?         

Monday, July 23, 2012


Three years + three months of sacrifice come down to this....

I have 3 words:


Unless you're living at the north pole, you know that I am taking the bar exam Tuesday & Wednesday of this week.  Then, on Friday, I pick up my city roots (and high heels) and trade it all in for a life on the farm.  I won't know whether I have passed until the end of August, but that's okay because for the next month it is going to be about living carefree (if I know how to do that).  

So, when you go to sleep tonight and when you get up in the AM...please...oh...pretty...please...say a prayer, send some good karma, or some good vibes my way.  I'll give you a smooch.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Still Surviving...

The world is leaving me behind.  I feel like it is groundhog's day.  I get up and do the same thing every damn day.  Study & Sleep...Study & Sleep...Study & Sleep.  I thought I had managed to cut my emotions off, but they hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday.  I could barely function.  It was pathetic.  Before I continue on with this sob story, let me turn it around.  It hit me today that what I am doing--studying for the bar--isn't anything special.  People in this world are faced with real problems, real heartache, and real devastation.  As a friend told me in an email about a month ago, taking the bar and becoming a lawyer is a privilege and not a right.  

I promise when I make it to July 26th...this blog will become "fun" again.  Back to weddings, pictures, nights out, and a whole lot of smiles.



Monday, June 11, 2012


In case you were wondering, I am still alive.  Well, barely, but still alive all the same.  I have made it to Week 5 of bar study.  The big exam is 6 weeks from tomorrow.  Like everyone, I want this to be over.  I want to lay on a beach, drink bubbly, and live the good life, BUT, part of me, just part, feels like this:

Time is RUNNING OUT....and I have a lot to learn.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Well, my SWEET loves, official bar prep is among us.  Tomorrow is the "official beginning."  This past week just eased us back into the first year subjects.  I've never dreaded something so much in my life.  It's like the plague.  I am dreaming of the beach, of having drinks with friends, of being Zack's assistant on the farm, and so on.  Really, I just don't want the "lost summer" to commence.  "City Girl in a Country World" will be fairly quiet over the summer months.  I do, however, have some hot-tamale guest bloggers coming up.  Give them some love!

I've prepped for tomorrow like the first day of school.  My apartment is spick and span, laundry done, bag packed, etc.  (I may have even picked my clothes out).  

This is it...this is why I have been going to school...this is GAME time.  As you can likely tell, I am trying to inspire and/or motivate myself.

I'll leave you with a couple pictures of my study nest for the next few little city loft!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A MUST Read Blog

I follow a lot of blogs...from personal blogs to wedding blogs to just random ramblings.  

Not many blogs touch me like this one...

I don't know this woman, but she's one of my heroes.  She has a daughter with down syndrome.  However, she doesn't let this define her family's life or her child's life.  

I get caught up and let things consume and define me.  I let my desires to be a successful attorney, my desires to have nice things, and my desires to be someone DEFINE my existence from time to time.  I am working on this, like we all work on things.  

Take several minutes and go through this family's story.  

Think: could you be this positive and this gracious?  

Monday, May 14, 2012


I have graduated law school.  No really, I have finished.  I still don't believe it.  They haven't sent us our official diplomas so they could make me do it all over again.  Yesterday, was undoubtedly one of the best days of my little life.  I was so proud and happy to have Zack and all of my family cheering me on at graduation.  

Plus, it was Mother's Day.  If you know my mom, you know she may be one of the sweetest things to ever land on planet Earth.  She has been and will always be my cheerleader.  She devotes 100% to her children and her husband.  Mom, I love you!

Since my words can't do it justice, here is graduation in pictures:

A little party to start the weekend.

Now Graduation:

My name in the bulletin.  Woot, Woot.

Well, I can now sign off as:

Rachel N. Stroup, J.D.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 Years in Pictures

After I finished LAW SCHOOL yesterday, I hopped in the car and drove (like myrtle the turtle) to the country.  Zack's cell phone started going off before 7am so there was no sleeping in for me this morning.  But, that's okay, I am plopped on the couch in front of our Cadillac of televisions (one of our biggest & best splurges).  All I want to do today is watch reality tv, blog, read blogs, and pin on pinterest.  I feel like a celebrity now that I have made it back -- everyone keeps blowing their horn when they pass and see my car in the driveway.  I haven't been here in months!  My blog has been and is going to continue to face neglect until I pass (or attempt to pass) the bar.  I thought, however, we should do a little review--in pictures--of the last 3 years.

At the ripe ole age of 20, I moved into my first apartment in Uptown Charlotte to begin law school.

1L Year:
   Zack & I and got our first set of Charlotte friends, Lauren & Evan.  (Note: Lauren *went* to law school with me and is my fabulous matron of honor).  

First law prom!

Now 2L Year:
Lauren got hitched and I was her maid of honor. 

Zack decided that he could put up with me for a lifetime and put this beauty on my finger. 

My new, bigger apartment.  
From left to right - Me, Zack, Colt, and Kelli.  Colt goes to law school with me and Kelli is his girlfriend.  I've decided to make her my own friend.  The four of us have had some great times!
Law prom year 2!

Now 3L Year:
My sister married Zack's brother.  If you're a blog reader, you've caught on by now that the Stroup sisters are marrying (or have married) the Sholar brothers.  
Lauren & Evan joined my family for Thanksgiving.  It was so fun!

The fabulous Kristin Vining of Kristin Vining Photopraphy took our engagement pictures.

My niece, Laney, made her arrival.  I love "Bug."

We took a little spring break.

Law prom year 3.

All I am missing now are graduation photos.  Bring on Sunday!

I've also noticed while going through my pictures that I changed my hair constantly.  It is funny to watch the evolution.  Zack gives me his preferences after the fact, not before.  

Have a great day my sweeties.