Hourly Virtual Design and Consultation Planning Appointments NOW AVAILABLE!

Well, it’s been a minute (or two) since I last blogged! This year has been a wild one for all of us, and especially the events industry here in North Carolina. We are going on month  9 of some pretty intense restrictions that have turned a lot of peoples weddings and events upside down. I’ve personally spent the last 9 months navigating these uncertain times with my clients–cancelling, scheduling, rescheduling, rescheduling again…changing guest counts, layouts…a lot of hard talks, tears (and some laughs!), disappointments, adjusting expectations and managing fears and anxieties out the wazoo! Through it all, my clients have really been troopers, I am so so proud of them and honored to be navigating this right beside them. I’ve found a silver lining of connecting with clients in times of need.

So, in the spirit of pivoting (hello 2020), I wanted to offer brides and anyone planning an event an opportunity to ask questions in a more formal setting. Maybe you can’t or don’t need/want a full-time planner, but have some outstanding questions or issues you want to work through. Perhaps you are just stuck on an aspect of your design and need some professional input. Maybe you’re struggling with how to handle COVID-19 restrictions and need a 3rd party to step in and offer some insight. I’d love to help.

Feel free to reach out! We’ll schedule a time to Zoom (maybe over coffee or wine?!), go through your list of questions, have some laughs and hopefully you’ll come out the other side feeling less stressed about your big day. xo

Duka Mansion Wedding: Lauren+Devon {The Video}

A Charlotte NC Wedding Film | Lauren & Devon from Heart Stone Films on Vimeo.

Lake Norman Wedding: Emily+Jamie {The video}

A Charlotte Wedding by Heart Stone Films | Emily & Jamie from Heart Stone Films on Vimeo.

How Braces Saved My Life

Ok so that may be a bit dramatic, but hear me out! Deciding to get braces at age 30 was no easy feat. I knew I needed to do it for quite some time and kept putting it off out of fear. Fear of what people would think, fear of what would happen to my business (who wants an event planner with braces!?), fear of the pain, fear of finally taking that first step and what that would mean. When my dentist told me that my bite was WAY off (see picture below–your teeth should interlock like a puzzle, not sit on top of one another!), and that there was a strong possibility that I’d rub my teeth down so much that I’d have to pull my teeth and get dentures–I decided to go to the Orthodontist. It was time.

The first step was pulling my wisdom teeth (not only had I never had braces, but I hadn’t done that either–they came in while I was pregnant with Row and started this whole process. Read more about that HERE). This was way more painful than I had anticipated. But it was done (hot post-surgery selfie below). On to the braces.

Choosing Valeriano Orthodontics was a no-brainer. Loved them so much and had the BEST experience! I’ve had so many people say “you didn’t need braces!” Here are some before+after for reference…

Once I got my braces on (March 2017), and realized my world didn’t implode (not dramatic at all), a light bulb went off. If at age 30, I could get braces and survive to tell the tale…what else could I do to improve myself? After having 2 babies in 2 years, I’d be lying to say that I was making myself a ‘top’ priority. That all needed to change. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t chew really well, or maybe it was the health kick I was embarking on…but I started to make a green smoothie each morning. I went from never really eating breakfast, to packing in a SUPER healthy meal each morning. And guess what…I started to feel ‘better’. I didn’t even know I wasn’t feeling good…until I was feeling good. I started to really pay attention to what I was eating and putting in to my body. Organic everything, making my own milks (coconut and almond), cutting down on the ‘bad stuff’, and just becoming more aware of what I was putting in my body. Next, I started to pay attention to things I was putting ON my body, like my deodorant  and lotion. I switched to all-natural and haven’t looked back.

By my 31st birthday (September 2017), I was feeling good…but not great. I knew there was one more thing I needed to add in to my life but didn’t want to do it–exercise. I hate working out. Always have, and possibly will never love it. I’ve always been thin with out having to do it, so why start now? But it took one bike ride with my husband and kids to change it for me. We lived in Dilworth at the time and walked/biked to lots of things. I’m not sure why this day was different, but we headed out on a ride together to Suffolk Punch. You guys…it’s a 0.7 mile journey. 0.7 miles. In my (very out-of-shape) defense, a part of it was uphill (probably 2 blocks)…but by the time we got to Suffolk Punch, I felt SICK. That was it. I knew I had to change and get in shape. If not for myself, than for my family and my boys who love riding bikes with Mommy.

I started slowly–I needed to make a complete lifestyle change so I didn’t want to burn out after one work out. I knew cardio was not my favorite thing, and preferred workouts that involved lying down for some portion of it (ha!). I went to Iron Butterfly Pilates first, did private lessons and humbled myself. Being completely out-of-shape in a gym is HUMBLING. Slowly, but surely, I started chipping away at my lack of cardiovascular abilities. I gained enough confidence to go in to group classes and then venture to Hilliard Studio Method. I started in beginner classes there (sometimes I still hit the beginner class–it’s still so hard!), and SLOWLY made my way up. I still modify in my workouts where I need to (I have diastasis recti and a very bad back). I now work out consistently around 4 days a week (5 if I have time!), and feel better than I have in my entire life.

Between diet, exercise, all-natural products and a new smile…I feel better than ever as I get ready enter my 32nd year of life next month. I really do attribute getting braces as the catalyst to overhauling my entire lifestyle. I’m not saying I was on the verge of death (again, not dramatic at all), but I KNOW that I’m set up for a longer and healthier life as it is today. Braces saved my life and I am forever grateful for the experience!

Our new home!

We moved! Surprise!! This past week we moved and couldn’t be happier! If you’ve been following for a while, you know we listed our house late last year. We had multiple offers, but no where to go. I didn’t want to move twice with two small children, so we chickened out and stayed put.

It was still heavy on my heart to move (more on that later), so a few months went by and I emailed our agent. I told her it didn’t have to be today, tomorrow or even in 6 months but when the “right” house came along, we were ready to go. Well, talk about speaking something in to the universe-not even 1 week later our new, future house, hit the market. I emailed our agent to see it (Hutch was out of town but in this market, you have to act FAST!). I fell in love. I told Hutch to hurry and fly home-we went again the next day to see it together. We spent about an hour in the house, went home to think about it and put in an offer. Sure enough, another offer was in on the house that same day–hello bidding war. The next day we brought the kids to see if this REALLY felt right and was worth fighting for. When I saw the boys running up to the front door, that was it. As I’m sure you can guess, we won the war and went under contract. **(pictures are from the listing)**

Now we had to scramble to get Iverson (old home) on the market. We were going to Maui a few days later and my in laws were supposed to be at our house with the kids. Our agent wanted the house empty for brokers opens, showings etc-so literally the night before, we booked the kids flights with our nanny, Mandie who flew them up to New Jersey for us to stay at my in laws there. As much as we tried to enjoy Maui, we were anxious for Iverson to get an offer the ENTIRE trip. Day 6 on the market, we got an offer and the rest is history. A LOT of things had to fall in place (our sellers needed to sell their house etc), and I tried to tell myself if it’s meant to be, it will be–while really I was freaking out because I was so in love with the new house I was mentally already living there. God is so good and it ALL worked out for all parties. We feel so fortunate! Now the “why” we moved. There are a few reasons. I’ve heard 100 times that “we are crazy!” “Your house is perfect!” Etc. And it was great!! Call it my black heart, but it is just a house…it most certainly didn’t define me nor define my happiness. In fact, sometimes it was robbing me of it. It was too big, so much work, so much to clean, manage, deal with. I felt like there was someone constantly in my house doing “something”….I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, but my house sort of annoyed me!! I think we did the opposite of what most people are currently doing, and we DOWNSIZED. We lost 1,200 square feet of space and I couldn’t be happier about it. Another reason was the neighborhood/area we were in. Dilworth will forever and always be the coolest ‘hood (in my humble opinion :)), but it was getting SO BUSY. We were scared for our kids to be outside of our gates because of traffic etc. We are only 5 minutes away but it feels like a different world somehow. Crime was also way up (as it is in a lot of places), but after I found an actual BULLET in my backyard (if you follow my stories, I was on the news!), that sealed the deal on “time to move”! There were just so many factors pointing me in the direction, I knew it was right. Now we live in a very old, 1936 home, that’s obviously been updated-but has so much charm and character. Completely different than our new-construction on Iverson. But here’s possibly the BEST part…we can WALK to preschool and church!!!! We already have tons of friends on the street, it’s super kid-friendly and truly already feel “at home”. There’s no doubt that this was the right decision for our family. The only thing we miss is the pool and our old neighbors-but we’ve got some great new ones! :).

Katrina Hutchins Events

Katrina Hutchins Events