2013 in Review.

Did anyone note the whirlwind that swept through 2013?

I mean, where did it go?

Is this what it’s like to be 25?

Days, weeks & months just fly by? I mean, I just put up the Christmas Tree (November 16) and now we’re going to take it down (next weekend?)

I feel like I just finished Christmas shopping (started in October) & we opened presents a week ago, already! Okay, I digress but I can’t be the only one that feels this way. Anyway, here we go!

So, 2013 started on the heels of what I now refer to as the “shake up.” I’m not going into details but our lives changed & friendships ended – a “clearing of the runway” occurred. Similarly, so many positive things & blessings, even in disguise at the time happened.

I’ll start with January. January 15 marked my parents 25th wedding anniversary. I casually mentioned to a friend that I probably had to make a big deal out of it, to which she agreed & also agreed to help me pull it off.

I decided that I’d arrange for someone to preach for my dad that Sunday & I’d book a room for them at our only 4-star in Greenville, The Westin Poinsett for the evening, after they enjoyed a Greenville Road Warriors victory. But could I leave it at that? Oh, of course not. Instead, I “went to work” that Saturday (I don’t work on the weekends) & when they checked into the hotel, I’d transformed it from an already beautiful room, to a room lined in silver (25th Anniversary is Silver), a huge, white (Lisa Vanderpump, Villa Blanca-style) floral arrangement, petit fours arranged under a glass dome & a chilled bottle of champagne awaiting them. Now, did it go off without a hitch? Of course not! Ha – I used their sterling silver toasting glasses on the night stands of the room & in mom’s, I put chocolates & my dad’s I put Runts, since they’re his favorite, and they spilled, ALL over the room – keep in mind, they’re waiting in the lobby because “the room isn’t ‘ready’ yet” and they have no idea that I’m even in Downtown Greenville, let alone in the room they’d be walking in to just moments later. They had a great time & I enjoyed it just as much putting it all together for them. I met them Sunday morning for brunch at Roost, our first experience there & Roost’s first brunch EVER. – AND I wanted this to be more pictures than words so I’ll shut up now πŸ˜‰ OH! And the Westin even sent them some strawberries, a thoughtful touch for sure!

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In 2013 I got into this mode where if I found a good deal, whether at Goodwill, thrift shops, CraigsList, etc. I had to jump on it as if it would be gone forever. Some of these purchases were put to good use when I decided I was going to give the Tattoo Shop a little facelift…

You’ll notice the campaign bachelor’s chests – really just being stored at the tattoo shop until I redo my room, later this year. The red chest in the entry? A $20 Craigslist find from a couple of years ago. I’ll post before pictures of the shop later on, the walls were green & the trim & walls were a yellow-tan color. The trim is white now, walls are grey & the doors & casings are black.


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My main motivation, and some of you don’t know this but my dad was approached by a production company to film a sizzle (5-10 minute “episode”) for a reality show – it was focused on dad, the church & the tattoo shop & was not picked up yet (probably a blessing, honestly) but I don’t need much of an excuse to redo any space.

I also gained two new cousin’s in 2013 – Luciano & Adriana. No pictures of them until I clear it with their parents πŸ™‚

2013 also marked my 25th Birthday. I had no idea what I was going to do as far as celebrating & honestly wasn’t really into thinking about it. I figured I’d go to Charlotte & go out with friends or something but I never could’ve imagined how that first week of May would’ve turned out. A lot of you know that we became friends with several of the Greenville Road Warriors players last year, one in particular that was hurt but then went home to Canada when he was cleared. My parents told me that we had to go to Charlotte to pick him up since he WASN’T medically cleared so on Saturday, April 27 we went & met my friends Michelle & Joseph, Michelle’s father & his friend at one of my favorite places in Charlotte, The Sleepy Poet – one of the best antique malls I’ve ever been to. If you’re in Charlotte, go there! Anyway, we then left for the airport. I’m looking out the window, my parents are saying “oh, there he is!” I couldn’t see him. I continued to look & I said “that looks like my grandmother… I still don’t see him!” Well, that’s because it WAS my grandmother. She was visiting for my 25th birthday, incidentally the first surprise of many that week. One week from that day, my 25th birthday, I took my grandmother shopping & then met my parents at the tattoo shop and we were going to dinner, so I thought. I was then blindfolded & we drove to our destination. I felt some familiar bumps in the road, literally but didn’t give them too much thought. Turns out, we were driving on the very road that I take to work every day, on our way to what turned out to be a surprise birthday party at friend’s of my parent’s home! When we were walking up their steps I knew where we were but still had no idea why. When we walked in, there stood my friends from near & far, my co-workers, with my parents & grandmother by my side. It was insane! We had a Photo Booth too. AND my mom stole pillows from my room, pictures from the gallery wall & other misc. accessories from the house to decorate for the party.

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Toward the end of May, we met my aunt & uncle (mom’s brother & SIL) in Charleston. It was the first time I’d been back to Charleston since I was young so a.k.a. the first time I could have a Bloody Mary in Charleston. Just calling it what it is… We went to Hyman’s Seafood which is a Charleston staple, you have to go at least once. We walked around all of the antique stores & down to the Battery to see all of the unbelievable houses!

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July was one of the most amazing months of 2013 – my Noni turned 100 years old. We travelled to Connecticut to celebrate with her. Since it rained here all summer, I was thankful for the heat wave for the week we were in Connecticut! Spent more time in my uncle’s pool than I did my own this summer! We had a lot of “times!”

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August was a busy month but it was a great month. After a very close friend of ours was diagnosed earlier in the year with lung cancer, we redesigned her bedroom & had a benefit pasta dinner for her. The bedroom turned out amazing & her reaction to it blessed us more than we could ever have imagined! Here’s just one photo of their bedroom since I don’t feel it’s my place to show their entire bedroom to the world. This is her “jewelry nook.”

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In September we vacationed in Hilton Head Island, SC with my grandparents. We had the best time – ate a lot, including but not limited to chocolate covered bacon & lobster macaroni & cheese and spent a lot of time at the pool & at the beach. I also binge watched Orange is the New Black. Um, hi, is it Spring yet? Time for season 2!

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Also – I forgot to mention that I was the Bravoholic of the week in July – it was a great experience even though there was some shade thrown at times. For my non-Bravo watchers, The Bravoholic is basically someone that gets to run a Bravo TV-owned account for a week, tweet with fans, Bravolebrites, etc. Andy Cohen asks a question on the air of yours and also, your tweets are on TV all week & they mention you from time to time.

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It was a lot of fun & they reward all of the ‘Holics with “Swag.”

Oh, and on September 16, the Legendary, Ms. Britney Spears mentioned & followed me on Twitter. So, there’s that.

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October is really the beginning of the end of the year for me. Holiday-specific decor takes over & I think that’s my main focus until January 1. Then it starts all over!

As you’ve probably noticed from Instagram, I treat our TV cabinet hutch as a mantle since we don’t have one, yet. So this was the end of September/beginning of October.

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Toward the end of October, I went to Charlotte to go to Scarowinds with my best friend Michelle. Why? Because we like to be scared $h*tless, apparently. Also, roller coasters. And Michelle’s boyfriend, Joseph works there so it’s fun watching him scare people.

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Also, for Halloween, we dressed as pirates & turned my mom’s Navigator into a pirate ship for our church’s trunk-or-treat! Forgive the blurry picture, not sure how that happened.

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November brought even more surprises when one of our hockey player friends, Marco returned from Denmark & showed up at our door on a Tuesday night. He wanted to surprise my dad & he was successful in that! His lovely fiancΓ©, Alex joined us for Thanksgiving dinner & the three of us went Black Friday Shopping since they don’t have Black Friday in Canada. Incidentally, this is the same player that was the “ploy” to get us to Charlotte to pick up my grandmother from the airport!

Alex & I baked pies for Thanksgiving & then after dinner on Thanksgiving, we turned the dining room into an art studio & painted some canvases!

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Yes, my Christmas tree was up before Thanksgiving but I’ll post it after the Thanksgiving pictures just to make everyone happy. I simplified the Christmas decor this year but I think it turned out better than ever before! I’ll do an entire post on how I executed our Christmas decor later on but you have a sample for now. πŸ™‚

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I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas & I’d like to wish everyone who reads this post (or at least looks at the pictures) a Happy New Year! I’m ready to make 2014 my… well, you know. πŸ˜‰

Follow me on Twitter, @JamieBertolini, Instagram: @jamiebertolini & subscribe, if you’d like!

IMG_7584Just one more: Me, Mom & Dad with Santa πŸ™‚

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6 thoughts on “2013 in Review.

  1. Wonderful post, Jamie!! You were absolutely one of the best ‘Holics ever!!

    I’m loving all the pics and hearing about your year.

    Looking forward to the 2014 year review.

    πŸ™‚

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