Archive for the ‘charlotte’ Category

what if?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

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if any of you out there are jennie allen followers, you’re probably also aware of the IF:gathering and all of the subsequent events and movements that have come out of her annual gathering for women to be equipped and empowered in pursuing lives of purpose. if you’re not familiar with jennie allen, you’ve come to the right place because i’m new to the club too. i recently started reading her latest book, restless, which basically speaks to the heart of every woman who has wondered if this is all there is to life. i’m sure i’ll have more thoughts on that once it’s read in its entirety, but the Lord has been teaching me so much lately through jennie and through lara casey’s book, make it happen. i’m learning that following the lord’s plan for my life is basically the opposite of the boring, disappointing picture i have in my head. He’s been inspiring so much lately and i feel ready to take some big steps during 2016 toward dreams He’s placed in my heart.

anyway, all that said, i’m extremely excited to share that the IF:gathering is coming to charlotte in two weeks, and is being hosted at my church, new charlotte. it’s technically free (although they ask for a $20 donation to help cover food and such) and essentially you’ll be joining 80-100 other women to watch the simulcast of the main gathering that will be happening in austin over the same weekend.

i’ve never been a huge fan of “women’s ministry” in many of its forms personally, mainly because i’ve never been able to relate to the young-christian-wife-mom-of-three-only-listens-to-christian-radio stereotype that i assume attend this type of thing. i will take full responsibility for that terrible misjudgment and admit that i’m sure it’s held me back from meeting many amazing women in the past, regardless of how our backgrounds align. i believe so strongly we are made for community and one of my prayers this year is that i will find deeply rooted friendship and community among more women in charlotte. i’m sure the IF:gathering is a great place to start, and i’d love it if you would join us. i’m excited to continue considering the question what IF i actually lived like Jesus? alongside other women in charlotte.

the details:

when: february 5 – 6, 2016 (starts at 7:00 p.m. on friday, so you can make it after work.)

what: the IF:gathering seeks to gather, equip, and unleash this generation of women to live out God’s calling on their lives. the world around us feels like it is crumbling and almost nothing seems certain, until we look to Jesus and see that our Hope is very clear and certain. He didn’t just give us salvation—Jesus is our salvation and the example of what it means to live in the fullness of grace and truth. what the world needs is His redemption, the very redemption and hope that lives inside of us. rather than shrink back, it is time to love like Jesus loved, serve like Jesus served, pray like Jesus prayed, and pursue holiness like Jesus pursued it.

where: new charlotte church, 11011 monroe road, matthews, nc
(don’t live in charlotte? check to see if there’s a local gathering near you!)

more info here and here. register to join us here!

and, as a fun additional note, i’m working with some great ladies to do the decor for the event. new charlotte is already pretty awesome-looking, but here’s a little inspiration board teaser of what we have planned for you…

IF Charlotte

image credits: 1. if:gathering; inspiration board clockwise from top left: 1. wedding chicks 2. frida vega solomonsson 3. brit+co 4. a daily something 5. mod wedding 6. apartment 34 via domino

an invitation

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

hello friends!

it’s a big day over at blooming branch. as of two weeks ago, i am officially a charlotte resident! i have a sweet little triplex house with a fireplace and a deck and a closet that comfortably fits all of my clothes. can you believe it!? it all happened rather quickly and while it doesn’t feel like home quite yet, i’m so happy to have reduced my commute to work by 45 minutes (seriously. it’s bliss.) and live among the cool city people. liam is adjusting well to big city life and i feel that i’m coming along quite nicely as well. i’ve been pulled between concord and charlotte for quite a while now, and while i’ll still be going back and forth fairly often because i like concord and i like my parents, it’s nice to feel settled and committed somewhere that i’ve wanted to be for so long.
the best part about this move has been all the downsizing. my new place isn’t really much bigger than my old one, so i’ve tried to be really cognizant of how much i actually need versus how much i actually want. they are very different.  so, guess what? i want you to have all the things i’m getting rid of. and by have, i mean buy at yard-sale-like prices. so. you’re invited to my in-house, invite-only moving sale. it’s basically like a yard sale but in the air conditioning, more dignifed and with no aggressive yard sale strangers (you know the ones i’m talking about) and with cupcakes and delicious beverages. how can you pass that up?

also, PLEASE bring your friends or share with anyone who may be interested.
p.s. i had a rather unfortunate hard drive crash last week, so i’m still without a computer at home (boo) but much more to come soon, including blooming branch’s first-ever GIVEAWAY.


Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

r1: springtime flowers in my backyard/sunday with bestie sarah and baby p/lunchtime sunshine uptown
r2: lipstick americano/glam sequins for gracie’s bachelorette/liam on my nicest suit
r3: lovely downtown southern pines/end table lovelies/java bean plantation (southern pines)
r4: bachelorette invitation/blooms at the grove park inn (asheville)/my favorite lunchtime spot, the 5th floor terrace in my building
r5: work clothes/baubles/lazy saturday brunch at home
r6: flowers at the nc dance theatre gala/happy mary kay package from allison/java bean plantation
r7: sunrise on the queen city/mcglohon theatre/discarded cocktails at the nc dance theatre gala
r8: bedroom camellias/branches in southern pines/latta arcade and the duke building from my parking deck
r9: late night dessert and coffee with blair and allison at rooster’s/valentine’s night nap with sweet parker/liam and the hole he chewed for his head in the blinds

p.s. you can follow me on instagram @cdcote

tomorrow’s the day!

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

runway for the ballet has finally arrived – i couldn’t be more excited!

someday i will blog again

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

but until february 11th, my life is consumed. quite frankly, i’ve never been more excited for something to end. nonetheless, the show should be super. come support dance theatre and all of our hard work please? see you then! (i’ll likely be the haggard sweaty looking one among all the pretty people.)

it’s christmas time in the city

Monday, December 26th, 2011

merry christmas! i had an absolutely extraordinary holiday with my family, and i cannot believe how blessed we are. i fully recognize that christmas was yesterday, however, i completely believe that christmas/the holiday season should be celebrated just as exuberantly between now and epiphany (january 4th), so i intend to do so with a fun queue of christmas blog posts over the next week or so. merry christmas from me to you.

over the past few weeks, i have had the opportunity to go on two christmas home tours. i don’t know about you, but i am extremely nosy when it comes to pretty houses. being able to go in people’s homes and snoop through their rooms and decor style is guaranteed to be enjoyable, even when the decorating style isn’t my own taste. don’t you agree? visiting people’s homes as a guest (or home tour ticket holder) is way more fun than peeking in the windows. but, um, i don’t do that kind of thing. really.

first up, the fourth ward charlotte home tour. the fourth ward consists of the northwest tip of uptown and features some truly beautiful historic homes and very cool new spaces as well. honestly, while i love the area, i wasn’t extremely enthralled with most of the homes on the tour. the decor was rather uninspiring and unchristmas-y with the exception of a few spaces below. rather than bore you with the details, enjoy some lovely photos and forgive my extreme inability to take adequate night photos.

there were hand-bell players on the porch of this home. it was lovely.

alexander michael’s is the sweetest, coziest neighborhood tavern.

and now, my favorite home on the tour…

the original house was moved in the 1970’s and placed sideways to fit on this lot. the front door is actually on the side and it’s excellent.


i am dying over all the built-ins. so fantastic.

this home also had the most exceptional little collection of iron structure souvenirs – vintage and new. there was actually an entire other shelf of them – i think it’s such a unique thing to collect.

…and, i’d like to move in tomorrow. the end.

i drive past this building every day on my way to work and i think it is beautiful.

i know i live/work here so i am technically biased, but i think uptown charlotte is lovely, especially at night.

the mccoll center for visual art is a renovated church that now hosts artist studio and gallery space. i love how they’ve kept the integrity of the building and all the original brick – it’s a stunning space. 

stay tuned tomorrow for many more (daylight and therefore not blurry and dark) photos of the historic downtown concord christmas tour. and then, a christmas tour of my own house as well. because i’d really rather you not peek through the windows.

happy thursday!

Friday, November 18th, 2011

hey remember that time i had a blog!?
life is so busy lately and i’m exhausted, but happy. i don’t mind a little busy but unfortunately my energy for creating blog posts has diminished significantly.  this post isn’t very inspired, i’m afraid, but i just had to share a few things that are making me very happy these days…

1. all the little yellow leaves lining the sidewalks on tryon street and that bluster up in the air when the buses drive by. they’re also quite slippery when it’s raining, in case you didn’t know.

2. the free orange spice tea at my office. my grandma used to drink it when i was little (she may, still, actually) and the smell reminds me of her and fall/christmas. and it still has enough caffeine to give me a kick in the morning as the office coffee may be the worst i’ve ever tasted.

3. trader joe’s candy cane joe joes are back! i’m about ten minutes away from breaking open the first box of the season.

4. this story that my mom emailed me today that a kid at her school told her: “you know how rocks are really hard and pointy sometimes? this one time i fell asleep, and when i woke up, it was dinnertime.”

no joke. our education system at its finest, people. if you understand this story, please message me.

5. driving past johnson & wales university when it’s dark out and seeing all the chefs inside wearing their hats and coats working/studying. they remind me of the keebler elves. in a good, non-creepy way.

6. my two computer monitors at the office. our tech guy installed an extra computer monitor for me a few days after i started. apparently it can increase productivity up to 30%. i had no idea what i was missing with just one lousy monitor. and it definitely makes projects a lot easier. now i want one for my laptop at home.

7. the crazy target lady. how can she not make you happy? i personally love the ad where she’s looking at the two-day sale ad and screaming from pure, unadulterated joy. glad i’m not the only one who gets seriously amped about a big sale. and who wears pearls with tracksuits. (just kidding. sort of.)

8. the inside of caribou coffee. it’s like christmas exploded with argyle, white lights and delicious coffee smells. get yourself to one quick.

happy thursday! what’s making you happy today?

images: 1.believewishes 2.theglamouri 3.trackingtj 4.thestate 5.fabdarling

working girl

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

there are so many things i need to be doing right about now, but guess what? i have a job! i’m officially employed! i have an office and a computer (with two monitors) and business cards and an IT guy at my beck and call! and guess what else? i work in uptown! freaking finally! i love being somewhere where there’s hustle and bustle and more than two restaurant options. and people, it’s awesome. i keep grinning randomly at strangers while walking down the street on my lunch hour because it’s just all so wonderful. i’m not sure why the Lord asked me to wait so long for this particular position, but i am so thankful for His provision and for putting me right where He wants me. and for giving me a paycheck and four major coffee shops within walking distance. and for all the beautiful men i get to see in suits every day.
this first week of working and commuting and dodging major I-85 closings has been really taxing. liam has separation anxiety. i’m exhausted. tomorrow i have to drive to south carolina for a fundraiser event. so it’s really important that i stop blogging and get serious about packing my lunch, but at some point soon i will adjust to my new schedule and stop being a zombie.
halloween is over and the holidays are finally on the way. and i am so very thankful.

image via shannoneileen and ruche

in the middle, somewhat elevated

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

this past thursday, i had the pleasure of attending the north carolina dance theatre‘s first performance of the season, director’s choice. the evening featured three pieces, chosen by artistic director and the most adorable frenchman i know, jean-pierre bonnefoux. the evening began with a world premiere ballet choreographed by dance theatre’s own beautiful aussie, sasha janes; the second a piece, bolero, choreographed by mark diamond; and the third, in the middle, somewhat elevated, by william forsythe. and while the first two were lovely, in the middle completely and totally stole the show. the 1987 piece was created originally for the paris opera ballet and i couldn’t help thinking while watching how angular, unbalanced and aggressive it was, but that for some reason it was still totally appealing and captivating. the wings of the stage are bare and the dancers wear skin-tight lycra. they come and go throughout the 25 minute piece, bursting into abstract, athletic movement before exiting again to the industrial, electronic thom willems score. i could go on and on writing about how wonderful it was, but here’s a clip from the renowned houston ballet’s performance so that you can see for yourself!

all things grand

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
last weekend i had the pleasure of attending lore emelio‘s fall runway show, all things grand, in charlotte. if you’ve been reading for a while now, you’ll know this is my fourth show of lore’s that i’ve been fortunate to attend, and lore’s collections and following in the charlotte area are definitely growing quickly. i always look forward to her shows for several reasons. one, i often enjoy pretending i’m a cast member on gossip girl. two, there is generally free champagne (this time it was chardonnay, but who am i to complain?). three, they are attended by so many lovely and fashionable people from charlotte’s society and art world. i am not one of those people, but it is really fun to see what everyone is wearing. you know how people watching in an airport is way fun? imagine yourself in the coolest and most stylish airport imaginable. and four, because lore’s collections are creative and unique and have continued to progress over the past two years. it’s fun to see her style developing and this particular show was certainly the most opulent, luxurious and grandiose that i’ve attended. my photography skills are seriously poor, but here are a few looks from the show…
pre-show festivities featured live art installations as guests entered. the car on the left is lore’s grandmother’s rolls royce, or so i was told. fancy. 
these dresses had the look of a very well-tailored grandpa cardigan, worn backwards. the back featured a deep-v with buttons and pockets. the turbans were also a big part of the show. i think they’re kind of awesome.

look how shiny this guy’s hair is. he doesn’t need a metallic turban like the ladies above. see the guest in the turban behind him? she’s jealous.

for some reason, this look reminds me of a more chic, modern version of clueless.

favorite dress of the evening #1. i think the fur did it for me. i also wish i looked this beautiful bald. i haven’t been bald since i was a baby, and i don’t even think it was cute then.

favorite dress of the evening #2. i really want to wear this to runway for the ballet in february. i also wish i had a cool mini-fro in which i could stick feathers and not look like i was dressing up for a thanksgiving play.

this picture thoroughly terrifies me because for some reason it reminds me of the creepy twins in the shining. i’ve never seen that movie, and i don’t want to.

i’m going to go out on a limb here and say i will never look good in teal velvet, but she pulled it off.

lore is all about the low v-back and i love it.

oh wait, a teal velvet CAPE!? i take back what i said.

this dress reminds me of the rainbow fish after he shared his rainbow scales and was happy.

so, all in all, it was a really entertaining show! aren’t you entertained? i’m pretty certain that now that i’ve compared lore’s looks to a horror movie, a children’s book and clueless, i will likely never be invited to another show, but i had a good run. two years, four shows. i’ll take what i can get. that said, here are a few other photos from the evening:
attention women everywhere: just because it’s designer doesn’t mean it’s tasteful, that you won’t still look like a stripper when you wear it, or that it is worth more than $700. that is all.

one, i need a haircut. two, julia and i both look dazed and confused in this photo and three, i am in serious need of some bronzer. not a great photo, but the only one i have and i wanted to include at least one photo with julia, my fun plus-one for the evening. she was an awesome date and even shared a caramel brownie with me at dandelion after the show. and, she also has a puppy named kevin. this is completely unrelated to the show, i just think it’s worth sharing.

and because lacey asked for it, here’s what i wore for the evening. i can’t say it was my best look, but i had to work with what was already in my closet, and i take this event as an opportunity to be a little more creative with my ensemble than i otherwise would be. you can’t really tell in this photo, but i totally went for the blazer-with-nothing-underneath look, which actually looked much less slutty than i’ve always thought it would, probably because i was not blessed in the cleavage department.

hopefully despite the fact that i am in a strange, sarcastic mood this morning, i’ll have the opportunity to attend more of lore’s shows in the future as her brand continues to grow. if you’re loving her work, head over to her website and check things out. i’m so thankful i have been able to follow lore’s collections up until this point, and i can’t wait to continue seeing her creative mind at work!