North Carolina Wedding Planner Branding Video

I knew it was time for a new branding video. My life has changed significantly since the last one was filmed. And as with life, it is ever-changing. However, I no longer work out of the office in Wake Forest which means I don’t ride my bike down the middle of Main Street (not that I really did any other time than the day of that shoot), the style of weddings I plan has evolved and I no longer live in the house featured in my last film. I do still wear a fedora, shop at Forever 21 and I still ask Scottie to do spins for treats.

When I started thinking about the meaning I wanted the new branding video to portray, I kept coming back to the fact that I’ve really always known this is what I wanted to do. I really didn’t need to look further than my own memories.

As soon as the idea was conceptualized, everything else came naturally. I sat down to write the script and the words poured out of me because I was speaking from experience.  As a little girl, I would frequently look through my parent’s wedding album and dream about my own wedding. I would dress up my stuffed animals and orchestrate an entire wedding day for them and their fluffy friends. I embarrassingly but specifically remember a night in college acting out a mock wedding with some friends. And no, alcohol wasn’t involved. I just really liked weddings.

And now it’s my every day. I eat, sleep and breathe weddings. I get to work with awesome couples and plan one of the most meaningful days of their lives. I’m a front row spectator to their First Look and the last one to tell them goodnight. I’m able to utilize the detail-oriented side of my brain to make sure the place cards are straight and the favors are all facing the same direction and yet I get to use the creative side of my brain to do something unexpected like suspend a three-tier wedding cake.

When I say I was born to do this job, I mean it. I wouldn’t do it day in and day out if I didn’t love it and if it didn’t evoke an immense amount of joy and satisfaction with each conclusion of another wedding. And while I was in my twenties when I ultimately decided what was my life’s purpose and how to fulfill it, if I look back on my life, the clues were always there and I was destined to be on the path I am on today.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped to pull off this video shoot. I couldn’t have done it without their support. And that little 8-year-old star you see pretending to be me as a child is none other than my cousin’s darling little girl Madi. She did such an amazing job and was the most perfect little actress. If you know her and see her after watching this, please be sure to tell her what a movie star she was in this video. (Cute side note: She texted me on Friday and asked “When will my movie be available for the world to see?”)

I hope as you watch this video created by the masterminds at Heart Stone Films, it stirs a fire in you to go out and do what you love. Don’t chase money. Don’t chase recognition. Don’t chase conformity or complacency. Chase your dreams. Life is too short to not do what you know in your heart you should be doing. So turn up your volume and enjoy a snippet of why I do what I do. I hope you fall in love with this little slice of perfection titled “Wide Eyed Little Girl” as much as I have.


Orangerie Events from Heart Stone Films on Vimeo.

Videographer: Heart Stone Films

Venue: The Mims House

Hair: Joanne Maye + Blown Away Raleigh

Make Up: Perfection by Patricia

Cake: Ashley Cakes

Linen: CE Rental


xoxo, Priscilla
We’re Hiring

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Photo by: Almond Leaf Studios

I have been so fortunate over the years to have had many talented individuals join the Orangerie family. It has been bittersweet to see them come and go but I have always been proud to provide them with tools and experience and to then watch them succeed. Even now, I feel grateful to have the team surrounding me that I do and I treasure their loyalty to the business.

With the huge change taking place in my personal life, the time has come to officially bring aboard a part-time team member to help efficiently and effectively run the OE Headquarters as a part-time Wedding Coordinator.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone hoping to gain real-world wedding experience from a variety of platforms.

If you are interested in this position, or if you have a friend that would be interested, please thoroughly read the guidelines below and use the link at the bottom of the post to apply.

I am so excited to grow this team and am looking forward to hearing from you!

Position Requirements

  • High degree of creativity and passion for wedding and event planning
  • Someone who is organized and extremely detail-oriented
  • Someone with strong work ethic who is able to work independently, responsibly and can be trusted to complete tasks timely
  • Someone who can effectively handle and prioritize multiple clients and stay calm under pressure
  • Ability to be resourceful, troubleshoot and think creatively
  • Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and contribute to the Orangerie family
  • Strong familiarity with Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest
  • Ability to quickly learn new software to manage clients and records
  • Strong writing skills, as contributing to the Orangerie Events Blog regularly will be required
  • Experience planning and orchestrating special events and/or weddings

Important Information

  • This position will be compatible with another part-time or full-time job
  • You will be required to work Saturdays and weekends as well as some evenings for networking events, client meetings and team outings
  • This position will require in-office administrative work but the schedule is flexible
  • You will be required to commit to a specific timeframe in order to accommodate clients who have already  booked weddings through the remainder of 2016
  • Being a wedding planner is not glamorous and requires someone who can handle multiple projects, tasks and brunt work
  • You can expect a surplus of Sun Drop slushes

If you have read the above and feel you are the perfect fit, please apply here.

All applications are due by March 7, 2016 and interviews will take place the following week. We are looking to hire and have the right candidate begin work by the end of March.


xoxo, Priscilla
We’re Having a Baby!

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Pregnancy Announcement

Oh baby is right. There’s one growing in my belly. This entire experience has been an unexpected surprise and quite frankly, surreal. Baby Erwin is officially due August 3, 2016. The timing is a blessing considering August is a much slower wedding month for me compared to the craziness of Fall. Our whole little world is about to be shaken up and changed, what I feel, for the better.

If you would have told me a few months ago I would be writing a blog about being pregnant and expecting a baby, I would have suggested you check yourself into a mental facility. Although I started to feel self-induced pressure because I was getting older and felt as if time was running out, I never expected to be pregnant so soon. But as with life, and thankfully so, I don’t always get to make the plans even though I’m a planner. There’s someone else responsible for that and I’ll leave it in his fully capable hands.

Our sweet little peanut is a result of me taking my birth control pills more like candy rather than a regimented means of actually controlling birth. And while not intentionally planned, it only further confirms just how meant to be it is and I actually treasure that even more. I’m sure I would have made countless excuses about it not being the right time had I been in control of the timing.

The pregnancy thus far has not been easy. I would even go as far as to say it has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to experience. It’s involved weeks of little to no food, daily vomiting, doctor and hospital visits for fluids, countless hours spent in bed, multiple emotional breakdowns and throwing up in Moe’s, Target and even a shoe. I was diagnosed around week 6 with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Eventually I’ll blog about HG and offer my tips for anyone experiencing the ruthless effects of the condition, but for now we’ll keep this post focused on the things that have brought joy to my life over the last 15 weeks.

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences like telling our friends during a game night, my parent’s wildly candid and utterly surprised reactions captured on video, my best friend’s and brother’s genuine excitement during an ultrasound, seeing a blob on a screen with an audible heartbeat, tears of joy watching said blob transform into the shape and form of an actual baby over mere weeks and learning that my best friend of 28 years is pregnant at the exact same time as me and realizing we’re able to share this journey together. Those are moments in time I’ll never recapture and I will certainly never forget.

I have felt an outpouring of love and support from family and friends and have been so appreciative of their excitement for our growing baby. We decided (or maybe I decided and forced Chase to agree) to style an announcement shoot and were fortunate enough that Inspired by This decided to feature it on their blog. To see the feature, visit this link.

Now that the secret is out of the bag, we’re onto the task of finding a home for our expanding family. As much as we have enjoyed and valued living a simpler life in a one-bedroom apartment, we’re very skeptical the space will be suitable for adding a fourth member. We’re on the housing hunt and excited about the next chapter.

So before you pick your jaw up from the floor, I do want to send a huge thank you to my clients who allowed me to disappear for two months. I was physically incapable of answering emails or keeping up with work and they graciously gave me the time to rest and recover. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for their trust in me and for giving me the necessary time to focus on not only my health, but the health of Baby E. And now you can resume your shock and awe facial expression. Looking forward to blogging and sharing all of the exciting changes to come! Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Photography: AJ Dunlap
Venue: The Glass Box
Flowers: Serendipity Designs
Cake: Sugar Euphoria
Calligraphy: Bella Joviality
Make Up: Perfection by Patricia
Hair: Blown Away Raleigh
Dress: Rent the Runway
Nails: Paintbar

P.S. – Although we are having an early gender 4d ultrasound this weekend, the pink included in these pictures do not indicate we’re having a girl. The colors are solely for Valentine’s Day.

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Priscilla Erwin

NC Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin - Orangerie Events

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Valentine's Day Styled Shoot

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Baby Erwin

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planning

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Baby Announcement

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Valentine's Day Shoot

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Baby Announcement Styled Shoot

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Styled Shoot for Valentine's Day


xoxo, Priscilla
Crafted Coordination – A Kick Butt Workshop for Wedding Planners



November 21 – 22, 2015
Mims House – Holly Springs, NC

Register Now!

You have two options at this very moment. Option #1 is choosing to be lazy and read the CliffNotes as to what this blog is about. If that sounds up your alley, the next paragraph will give you the highlights and you can stop reading there resting assured you could at least make a “C” on the test. Option #2 is choosing to be a curious little kitten and wanting more than just a summary. You have full permission to be nosey, read the entire blog and get the inside scoop.

I am proud to introduce Crafted Coordination, a kick butt workshop for aspiring wedding planners and budding entrepreneurs in the wedding industry. The first conference will be held on November 21 – 22, 2015 at the Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The website will be live very soon and registration is already open. It’s really easy. Just click this link, sign up and learn how to ditch that day job and fulfill your dream of becoming a full-time wedding planner. And because I’m sweet as sugar, there’s a special discount for those early birds who register prior to October 5th. In summary, if you are toiling with the idea of becoming a wedding planner, if you are a new and aspiring wedding planner, if you’re someone in a creative field, if you’re wondering about how I started and have maintained a growing wedding planning business, you should sit your tush in one of the available seats at this one-of-a-kind workshop for wedding planners, by a wedding planner.

For those of you who decided to stick around and learn more, welcome. I feel like you deserve to learn a little bit about the motivation behind hosting Crafted Coordination. Starting any small business is tough. Starting a wedding planning business isn’t ridiculously difficult. Making a living by owning a wedding planning business is the tough part. I started Orangerie Events in 2008 with very little support. I closed my eyes and jumped feet first into an industry I knew little about and without a mentor. I had no clue what I was doing or what was in store.

I learned quickly how competitive the wedding industry is and specifically how protective wedding planners are in regards to their businesses. It was a waste of a good email to ask a fellow planner in the market for advice on getting started. To be quite frank, breaking into the industry is a lot like high school. Like changing schools in the middle of the year and becoming the new kid in class. You’re timid. You’re a bit clueless. You’re immediately judged and classified. And you’re very receptive to the divide between the outsiders and the cool kids. Finding where you fit in becomes the first hurdle and often times the first taste of rejection.

I made 3,423 mistakes. I tiptoed around the feelings of other planners in order to not make them feel threatened or betrayed. I listened to the gossip and frequently became the subject of it. I disappointed clients due to growing pains and poor judgement. I lost money. I cried, a lot. I barely escaped getting a divorce. And this past year, I was betrayed and burned by people within my industry and to an extent that made my head spin and question every single decision I had made in starting the business. I let it temporarily drag me down until one day I decided that I wouldn’t continue to succeed in spite of them but I would succeed despite them. And that’s when the little flame of desire to help others ignited into a full fledge inferno.

I don’t want to be like my predecessors. I don’t need to hold my secrets to success hostage. I want to inspire and encourage a new generation of wedding planners that fire each other up in a positive way and not in a “I’m going to burn your business cards” kind of way. I want to be transparent with exactly who I am and not hide behind a deceiving facade I’ve led everyone to believe is the truth through my pretty Instagram pictures and cute quotes. I guarantee this workshop will be open, honest to the core and full of real talk. I’ll discuss what I’m doing, how I do it, how to break into the industry, how much money I make, the tools I use, where my business is going, how I’ve made mistakes and how I built a brand that attracts my ideal clientele.

There will always be cliques within any industry and especially within the wedding world. And if I have to be in a clique, I want it to be a compassionate one full of people boasting community over competition. I receive hundreds of emails each year from girls in college, stay-at-home-moms and people working unfulfilling jobs who want to know how I did it and what they should do. Well now’s your chance for an unfiltered look behind-the-scenes and a rare opportunity to become BFFs with someone who has been where you are and is still swimming after jumping off the deep end.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email at Registration is officially open and stay tuned for the website launch announcement. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest and greatest happenings! I can’t tell you how excited I am to make a tiny contribution to the uprising of a community of connected and positive planners. Let’s do this! (And yes, Sun Drop slushies for everyone!)

P.S. – If you’re a vendor and would like to participate, please reach out! At the very least, please feel free to share this so it can spread like wildfire!

xoxo, Priscilla
Denim Days + The Backpack is Back

I have a bit of advice for you that you should definitely listen to. If ever you go to Lowes and buy deer repellent for plants and somehow during the journey home said bottle of repellent leaks into the plastic bag, I urge you to proceed with caution. I wouldn’t advise sitting the plastic bag on your desk or removing the bottle with your bare hands. The smell is foul and lingering. You’ll regret it for days. Even after four showers, you’ll still feel as though you smell like cow manure.

I have a strong sense of smell. And certain smells make me nauseous. It was one of the first and largest indicators that I was about to be deathly sick during my recent food poisoning/stomach flu episode. We were sitting in a bar in Austin when the table next to us ordered some beefy, hearty pot roast. The aroma didn’t bother anyone else but I couldn’t sprint to the bathroom fast enough. It was disgusting and even still, if I should ever run into that smell again, I’m certain my reaction will be the same.

So now that you’re probably pinching your nose because you’ve tricked yourself into thinking you can whiff deer piss through the computer screen, let’s talk about pleasant smells. Like the new air fresheners that are released for the Fall. Or cinnamon apple cider. Or smokey bonfires. Kids, I am so ready for my favorite season to be here. In fact, I may have rushed it a bit with my denim outfit choice considering it was 90 degrees outside while taking these pictures.

This week’s fashion post was back-to-school inspired and is brought to you by a few of favorite stores. There was a time in my life where I would never consider mixing denims. Of course, there was also a time in my life when I wore an all-pleather purple suit. Thank goodness things change. I hope you each have an incredible Labor Day weekend and send summer off in style. Rumor has it that you can now get your hands on a PSL. That’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte for those of you not clued into the cool kids lingo. Happy Weekend!

Shirt + Jeans: H&M / Belt + Shoes: Forever 21 / Sunnies: Ray-Ban / Backpack: Target

Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events 5

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events 4

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events 3

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events 2

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

xoxo, Priscilla
Woods Inspired Summertime Casual Style

There are fewer things I am prouder of than being a country girl. I’ve evolved and grown to love the city life but my roots have and will always be true to country. I find I am most at peace in the mountains. Secluded from the hustle and bustle. Surrounded by nature and simplicity. I love being able to actually breathe fresh, clean, non-polutted air.

Today’s look is inspired from those summer trips to Chimney Rock with my family. Picking out the perfect piece of turquoise from the gift shop. Sharing a picnic on a Sunday afternoon along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Riding the 4-Wheeler throughout the wooded trails my dad carved. I grew up only an hour drive from Boone and some of my fondest memories are from watching and experiencing the seasons change from the backseat window of the family car.

Throw on your denim, plaid and oversized hat this weekend and go explore. Maybe it will encourage August to speed up so we can cool down with September. Happy Weekend kiddos!

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Everything Else: Forever 21

Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Priscilla Erwin

NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events - Raleigh Wedding Planner

Raleigh Wedding Planner - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner - Forever 21

Priscilla Erwin - NC Wedding Planner - Orangerie Events

xoxo, Priscilla
Tuesday Tunes – P’s Picks + Just Say No

Orangerie Events - NC Wedding Planner - Spotify Playlist

Have you had the elation of saying “no” to something recently? I had a conversation over the weekend after partaking in some retail therapy about how we’re programmed to be yes people. We rarely step up and say, “No. This isn’t what I want.” It was a simple question during check out. “Can I have your email address?” My reply is usually yes even though inside I’m screaming like a toddler who doesn’t want to give up his favorite dinosaur figurine. I politely said, “No thanks.” It felt amazing.

Emails tend to bog me down. They are kind of like the monster under the bed. Only the monster doesn’t creep out at night in the dark. It slides out around 7:30am when the sun is shining and it’s time to start a new day. I’ve realized recently that my outlook is directly related to the number displayed on the upper right hand corner of the mail icon on my phone. I can never catch up. I can never respond quickly enough. The emails I’m responding to require action which is then usually dependent on someone else’s action and it’s an endless cycle of always playing catch up. It’s actually something I’m making a conscious effort to change in order to begin my days with positive intentions. So even though it was merely saying no to the option of receiving more promotional emails, the simplicity didn’t negate the satisfaction. It was like standing on a teeny tiny soapbox and proclaiming “I don’t want more nonsense emails to delete. I don’t need junk or promotions or coupons or invites to meet people who won’t make me feel lonely. I want to choose what and who is showing up in my inbox and not let it be a catch all for every retailer, scammer or inter web troll.”Just once I’d love for that number on my phone to be zero.

Maybe you need to experience the pleasure of saying no to something. Maybe it’s saying no in order to save your sanity or saying no to protect your free time or saying no negativity. Or maybe it’s literally as simple as saying no to disclosing personal information to a stranger behind a register. Whatever the reason, do it. You’ll feel empowered.

Just don’t say no to checking out these artists I think you should know. Some have full albums while others are barely surfing the radio waves with a single. Regardless, this playlist is a must-follow on spotify because I’ll regularly update it with artists I think will one day become a household name. Conveniently titled “P’s Picks.”  Not to toot my own horn but this little piggy has discovered and listened to some pretty rad artists who have then exploded onto the music scene. Forewarning: Some of the songs contain words on big kids should use.

Until next time, say no to anything you don’t want to do anymore.

xoxo, Priscilla
Casually Chic Running Around Town Outfit

I’ve changed my drink order at Starbucks. This is a huge evolution for me. It happened suddenly. I realized one day that an Iced Caramel White Chocolate Mocha was ridiculously too sweet and that I was practically wasting half  each time I bought it. Of course, that’s pretty much my staple move for any drink. I never finish a beverage. It’s a weird quirk. Nonetheless, my Starby’s drink order is all grown up.

Even though my taste buds are aging and I’m on the downward slide from age thirty to thirty-one, I still enjoy pretending to be forever twenty-one. Despite my age, shopping at Forever 21 is my jam and I’m still able to find outfits that excite me. And once upon a time, I would blog about the outfits I would source and assemble and I would pretend that people cared even though I know how silly it is. Trust me, it’s extremely awkward begging your friends and family to take pictures of you randomly eating a cup of ice cream in the backyard.

Regardless of how kooky crazy it is, I’ve been on a mission to resurrect my blog and that includes documenting and showcasing my fashion picks. So without further adieu, I present to you a casually chic ensemble perfect for comfortably running errands or grabbing a cup of coffee. And in fact, that’s exactly what I wore this outfit to do. I went to pick up a delicious drink from Thanks a Latte in Holly Springs and walked out with a new head wrap from one of my favorite online shops, Thanks a Latte is dangerous. The shop is filled with gifts and goodies ranging from jewelry to day planners to Kate Spade must-haves so be warned you’ll walk out with more than a cup-of-joe.

The details for the outfit are below in case you can’t live without my cat-eyed sunglasses. Hope your weekend is filled with relaxation and more of the moments that matter.

Shirt + Pants + Shoes + Necklace + Bracelets: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Nastygal

Forever 21 Fashion - Orangerie Events - Casual Chic Outfit

Bando Head Wrap - Forever 21 Blogger - Orangerie Events

Forever 21 Blogger - Orangerie Events - Cat Sunglasses

Mustard Loafers - Forever 21 Fashion - Orangerie Events

Running Errands Outfit - Forever 21 Blogger - Orangerie Events


xoxo, Priscilla
What to Do When You’re in Iceland

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where my extra money goes. There are a few recurring categories.

1. Dining
2. Concerts
3. Forever 21
4. Traveling

That pretty much sums up my free time. And quite frankly, I have zero complaints about it. I’m a sucker for a decadent cheese tray, a front row view of my favorite artist, a new chic outfit and exploring somewhere I’ve never been. I’ve been fortunate to travel to some incredible places over the last few years. This can really be attributed to firstly, selfless and giving in-laws and secondly, Groupon.

Someone recently asked me what sparked a desire to visit Iceland and I jokingly responded, “Groupon.” It’s true. Iceland had never been on my radar as a bucket list destination. But luckily it appealed to Chase’s parental units and discovering an amazingly priced vacation package, they booked a trip.

Most people are hesitant to purchase a Groupon Getaway because they’re fearful of what they’ll really get after investing the money. Well I’m a walking testament that utilizing Groupon to book your vacation is actually a very wise and budget-friendly method. Specifically, using Groupon to book a trip to Iceland is a no-brainer. They frequently post the deal which can sometimes be obtained for as little as $700 per person for both the flight and hotel for the duration of your trip. Don’t like which city the flight leaves from? No problem. You can call and have the airport changed for a very minimal fee.

Just in case you succumb to temptation and decide to take some time to explore beyond your county lines, below are my suggestions for what you should do when you’re in Iceland. I’m not an expert by any means, but I have a passion for placing my feet on foreign soil and I can create one mean travel itinerary in a mere matter of days.

1. Explore Reykjavik
If you purchase a Groupon, your hotel will be assigned for you and will most likely be located within the city center of Reykjavik. For our trip, we stayed at 22 Hill Hotel which was a quick 15-minute walk to the hub of the city. The city itself is quaint, compact and bursting with coffee cafes, shops and restaurants. You’ll definitely want to navigate to Hallgrimskirkja which is the largest church in Iceland. Take in the cinematic experience of the reflective glass on the facade of the Harpa building which is located by the old harbor. Be sure to take advantage of the photo opportunity next to The Sun Voyager. If you’re dedicating a day to walking around the city, you’ll want to make sure you have an umbrella or hooded jacket. The weather in Iceland is bipolar. It goes from sleeting rain to sunshine to blizzard back to sunshine in the course of about four minutes. Given the city is condensed, we never had to take a taxi or public transportation and were easily able to navigate throughout by foot.

Reykjavik Iceland - Travel Tips for Iceland - Orangerie Events

2. Take a Tour of the Golden Circle
When booking day excursions for trips abroad, I commonly use I have found them to be a highly reliable source for securing adventures, arriving on time and exceeding expectations. I enjoy having an English-speaking tour guide, someone to offer insight and comfortable transportation, which picks you up and drops you off at your hotel. The Golden Circle includes exploration of ancient volcanoes, shooting geysers and breathtaking waterfalls. You’ll visit Thingvellir (the oldest functioning parliament in the world), Geysir and Strokkur hot springs, Skalholt church and Gulfoss waterfall. It’s an easy way to pack in a variety of Icelandic must-sees.

The Golden Circle Tour - Iceland Travel Tips - Orangerie Events

Iceland Travel Tips - Golden Circle Tour - Orangerie Events

Iceland Waterfall - Golden Circle Tour - Orangerie Events

3. Try to Catch the Northern Lights
I went into our trip to Iceland with extremely high expectations for seeing the Northern Lights. I had convinced myself it would happen and that it would be one of those defining moments in my life. Instead, our excursion to see the Northern Lights was cancelled twice because of bad weather and when we were finally able to give it a shot, we rode a motor coach into the wee hours of the morning, chasing them through a snowstorm with no avail. And just because we didn’t have success (Don’t worry. We were frequently reminded at how abnormally bright they were the weekend before we arrived. Insert shoulder shrug.) doesn’t mean that I don’t encourage you to try. I can only imagine how incredible it would be to catch those dancing lights in action. And even if you miss out like we did, at least you’ll enjoy a premium dinner at a gas station and hear some of the most unbelievable (Like they seriously had to be made up.) stories from your Icelandic bus driver.

4. Go Snowmobiling on a Glacier
I have never felt so small in the world as I did when we went snowmobiling on a glacier. It was a spiritual moment for me. Reminding me how incredibly microscopic we are in the grand scheme of things. The ride from camp up to the start of the track in a “Super Jeep” (as they call it) was an adventure in itself because you’re crammed in like sardines, dressed in full thermal gear from head to toe and your head is repeatedly hitting the top of the vehicle. Once on the snowmobile and after a very brief instructional speech, you’re led up the mountain by an instructor in a single file snowmobile line. Reaching the top of the glacier is mesmerizing. You’re surrounded by a sea of white and stillness. Imagine how quiet and peaceful the world is when it snows and then multiply that by a thousand. It’s incredible. It’s also a bit worrisome once a snowstorm begins because you can’t see your hand in front of your face, feel your fingers or let alone drive a snowmobile. My mind started to drift to one of those “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” shows and I may have internally panicked when a few vehicles in front of us ventured off course and we had to wait like sitting ducks for the instructor to come and find us. Nonetheless, do it just so you can experience the range of emotions.

Snowmobiling in Iceland - Orangerie Events - Iceland Travel Tips

Snowmobiling in Icelande - Snowmobiling on Glacier - Orangerie Events

Snowmobiling on a Glacier - Iceland Travel Tips - Orangerie Events

5. Spend a Day at The Blue Lagoon
Let’s say you hate everything I’ve suggested so far. That’s fine. If you do one thing I recommend and one thing only, visit The Blue Lagoon. I have never experienced and I highly doubt I’ll ever experience anything like it. In a nutshell, The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa. An elongated explanation is that it’s a man-made lagoon which is fed by superheated water vented from the ground near a lava flow. The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur. Now listen closely and heed my advice. Buy your tickets in advance and buy a premium ticket. Don’t go cheap on this. You won’t want to wait in the ridiculously long line and you will most definitely want the bathrobe that’s included with a premium ticket. After you arrive and check in, you will be given a wristband, which acts as a key for your electronic changing room locker. You can also use your wristband to buy drinks and food while you are in the spa. It works like an in-water credit card in the sense the you just pay for anything you charge to the wristband when you leave. Before entering the lagoon, you’ll be led to a changing room and instructed to shower. They’ll provide you with special conditioner to use on your hair. Do it. Trust me. The lagoon water will cause your hair to become dessert dry and brittle. Once you’re actually in the water, forget about everything else going on in your life or in the world. Enjoy the steam baths and saunas, apply the silica mud mask, redeem your drink credit at the swim-up bar and relax. If I had it to do all over again I would have allocated more time at the Blue Lagoon than just a few hours and I would have indulged in a spa service like an in-water massage. The Blue Lagoon is sensational by mixing cold weather with warm water, blue waves with black mountaintops and relaxation with exploration. A true wonder of the world.

Blue Lagoon Iceland - Iceland Travel Tips - Orangerie Events

There you have it. My five tips for visiting and soaking up Iceland. Now, go forth young adventurers. The world’s waiting on you.

xoxo, Priscilla
Tuesday Tunes – Country Summer Playlist (And other ramblings about soap operas and birth control.)

Country Playlist

My grandmother loved watching soaps. I can remember walking to her house after school, stopping for a Sun Drop slush and a bag of Funyuns, and finding her lounging on the couch with her favorite “stories” on. Ironically, the characters never progressed regardless of how much time lapsed between my visits. Victor was still sleeping with Phyllis who was married to Michael who thought Nikki was his sister but was really his mother and his real sister Abby was still being held captive by Jack who really wanted to be Jackie. Sounds too absurd to be real life, huh? Don’t be so sure about that.

I can remember hearing in the background, “Like sands through an hourglass, these are the days of our lives.” My twelve year old brain couldn’t grasp the concept of that quote but it stuck with me. Even the imagery is burned into my recollection. An hourglass with teeny tiny molecules of sand that steadily drip into a base of memories. Once that grain of sand, representative of a moment or a day, lands into the pile of the ones before, it’s gone. You can’t flip it and start over.

And this is thirty. A staring contest with an hourglass. Watching the shift from the top portion being larger to the bottom portion steadily gaining ground. I’ve had some extremely meaningful conversations lately. They’ve been enlightening and thought-provoking. Some challenging. Some surprising. But the truth is when you’re in the position I’m in and at the age I am, you feel an unspoken amount of pressure. Pressure to make concrete choices. Decisions aren’t as care-free as they once were. They cause consequences and ripples and can put you on a detour or even a dead-end.

Prime example for you. Birth control. It was an easy decision for me when I was 18 and my doctor suggested that a simple pill would cure me of the unbearable cramps. Even an easier decision at 25 when I transitioned from a pill to the IUD. It took no time at all to conclude having a more permanent preventive plan in place to avoid having a child was the best bet for me. I welcomed the pain associated with insertion in order to go five years without ever having to think about birth control. But here we are. Five years later and things are drastically different than my mid-twenties.

Slow your roll. (I’m talking to you Mom.) I’m not confessing I’m ready to have a child. But I’m also not professing I don’t want to anymore. I’m falling right into that stereotypical trap I was warned about all those years. “You’ll change your mind when you get older.” I cringed every time I heard someone use that reply to my statement, “We’re never having kids.” I now know what they were forecasting. I’ve been dragging my feet going to the doctor to have my IUD replaced because quite frankly, I felt the decision held more weight than it once did and I was trying to buy myself time. I just can’t imagine going through the pain of having another IUD inserted when in a year (give or take) it may be time to have it removed (which is more pain) and see what unfolds.

My appointment is on Thursday. I have my pain pills lined up and music for mental distraction. If you’re in need of some tunes to get you through your work day or a wildly uncomfortable doctor’s appointment, I’ve put together my must-play Country Summer Playlist to blast as this season quickly fades into yet another Fall. I warn you. It’s country. Which means there’s twang and talk about riding backroads and beer references. It’s male-heavy (Not really feeling many women country singers right now.) and mostly new songs with a few classics sprinkled in. It also contains every song off of the Old Dominion EP because I’m obsessed. Nonetheless, Keith, Eric, Sam, Billy, Dierks…the gang’s all here! Happy listening!


xoxo, Priscilla