Kicking off Summer, graduations, and painting classes

Hi everyone and happy Memorial Day weekend. What’s not to love about a long weekend that’s the kickoff to summer? Even though I’m no longer in school, I still think of Memorial Day weekend as the official beginning to summer, and I get the summertime mindset too.


Speaking of school, it’s hard to believe that I graduated from high school ten years ago. Time has really flown by. I won’t be attending my class reunion, but we are planning to attend Clay’s.

I looked around for pictures from high school and couldn’t find many. Obviously I had to scan pictures back then, so most aren’t online, but I have tons at my parents’ house, so maybe I’ll grab them the next time I visit. That means you’ll see them sometime after Christmas…

It’s amazing that I don’t have those senior pictures we paid oh so much money for anymore, but I found this gem from Fall 2002.


This picture is also proof that I did not run in high school (people always ask me if I ran XC for my high school- my high school does not even have cross country!), nor did I have a runner’s body.

I took a few days off running after PRing at Race for Taylor, but I got back out there later this week and ran 5 miles on Thursday evening and today at the Isle of Palms. The weather was beautiful this morning- actually a little chilly. I think it was in the 50s- definitely not typical for May in South Carolina. It was my first long run in my new Mizuno Wave Precision’s– love these shoes, even if I had to order them (I could only find pink here in Charleston, and I’m not one for pink shoes).


Running with the TrySports Mt. Pleasant group is great. I love racing, but I miss my Saturday long runs, conversations, and the occasional breakfast or coffee out. It was my first Saturday long run in almost a month, and I ran 10 miles at around a 8:33 average pace, all over Wild Dunes and the Isle of Palms. A few newcomers came to Run Club, which is always fun and I hope they return because they were super nice. We love new people!

I’ve also spent more time on house things, and I took a painting class at For The Love of Art, a new sip and paint (or if you’re like me, just paint) studio in West Ashley. I bought a Groupon for classes there awhile back and finally got around to using it because their classes sell out quickly, it’s a small studio.

Here are a few pictures from the studio.




The instructor at the studio, Carri, was pretty knowledgeable and helpful. She and her assistant walked around the class helping everyone and refilling our paints, and she explained everything step by step.

The painting we did was a moonlight scene over the Battery in Downtown Charleston. I love doing Charleston themed paintings (they seem to be pretty popular in the studios here, too). Here’s how my painting progressed through the night and the final product, hanging in my kitchen.




It was a great way to spend a Friday night. I really recommend the group painting classes- even if you have no experience. If you can find a deal on one, that’s even better. They’re a lot of fun and you get a fun decoration with it. The classes are about three hours long, but it really flies by because it’s fun and you see how your painting changes throughout the night. Plus, it’s a great way to de-stress and unwind after a busy week!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays safe! We don’t have big plans, but we’ll grill out and just enjoy our first holiday in our first home!

Q1.) Did you go to your class reunion, or do you plan to attend? I did attend the five year reunion we had a few years ago.

Q2.) Have you ever participated in an art or painting class? Or even heard of this- hopefully there’s something similar where all of you are (for those of you who aren’t in Charleston).

Q3.) Any big weekend plans?

This entry was posted in IOP/Sullivan's, Randomness, Running Clubs, Rural West Ashley. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Kicking off Summer, graduations, and painting classes

  1. Nerri says:

    Yes! There are tons of sip and paint types of places here and I did one about a year ago that was great 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      We have quite a few studios here too. I’m interested in going back to this place (obviously, I have another use on my Groupon, but in addition to that) as well as trying out a few of the others.

  2. spectacuLAUR says:

    That is SO cool you have painting classes near you! I can’t paint worth a darn, so mine would look like a bunch of blobbed colors thrown together. You could MAYBE make out a window haha!

    I love/hate looking back on old photographs of me, especially ones from middle school during my “emo”/pre-running days. Have a great weekend grilling and relaxing!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Oh yes, I went through a more “alternative” phase as well and wore lots of black. Let’s just say the preppier clothes and pearls I normally wear now (well, when I’m not running or around the house… which isn’t often) weren’t even in the picture. Literally.

      They guide you through the whole painting- so even people who think and say they can’t paint come out with a masterpiece. Now some studios and instructors are better than others because I have a few (the studio I went to is now closed, however) that just aren’t as good because you could tell the instructor rushed through. Plus if you’re not super happy, at the end of the class they will help you touch it up, hehe.

  3. Looks like a great weekend! I have my Sr. Picts still but keep them in hiding. No one should be tortured with them, lol. I didn’t go to my reunions, even though I live in the same town. Just had to desire to and those that I am still friends with we see each other when we can, so no need to pay for the reunion to be “oh, so what do you do..” kind of talk when because of Facebook, we all know what we do. Lol.

    I need to run IoP soon, that’s one place I haven’t done. Have a great weekend!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly, I hope you’re having a great weekend too.

      We’re not running IOP this weekend (I think you’re racing on Saturday anyway though, right?), but usually we’re there on Saturday mornings and you’re more than welcome to come. It’s a little drive but worth it, so beautiful yesterday.

      My senior pictures weren’t bad. I was wearing all black in em. I really should have branched out from the all black…

      If the reunion were here in town I’d consider it. It’s in Myrtle Beach… then again that would be an excuse to take a Myrtle Manor field trip…

  4. I love your shoes, and the painting you did! I hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
    Q1.) Did you go to your class reunion, or do you plan to attend? My class reunion hasn’t come up yet. I graduated in 2006, so my class reunion won’t be until 2016. Chris and I both graduated at the same time, and from the same school, so we will be attending!

    Q2.) Have you ever participated in an art or painting class? I have heard of these, however; I have never participated in one. I would much rather go to an art class than a painting class, because I’m not the best at painting and I’m more interested in art anyways, although I must say… the paintings you have done look fun!

    Q3.) Any big weekend plans?
    Yesterday we just hung out at home. Today we went to a Luao. And Tomorrow we’re going to my dads to cook out. 🙂


    • Amy Lauren says:

      Pretty sure we’ll cook out tomorrow too- we didn’t today. I got Clay some burgers from Earth Fare to throw on the grill and of course I have my veggie burgers as well.

      There is a painting studio in Columbia, I think it’s a Wine and Design maybe? They are a small chain and there’s one here too. My friend did a painting there and really liked it, so something to check out (I also think she got a deal on it).

      A luau sounds quite fun for the holidays. I really can’t wait to plan more parties and stuff here!

  5. Your painting turned out great Amy, so much better than I could do. I seriously mean that.. my mom is the artist in our family, not too sure what happened to me and my brothers haha. We were those kids that had our mom help with art-related projects in elementary and middle school. Yep it’s the truth! That really does sound like a nice way to spend a Friday night… and although I don’t have ANY experience (as I just mentioned), it’s something I could see myself doing sometime
    Yay for new running shoes too! Nothing like those first few runs in them 🙂 But then you don’t want to get them dirty! That’s why I try to avoid buying sneakers that are a bit too white

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You really should try a similar painting class, Tessa. You’d really like it, it’s a good way to de-stress and unwind without exercising (which is what I need to learn how to do sometimes). It’s very soothing and calming, especially when life is hectic, and I can’t wait to go back.

      I like the purple or bright colorful shoes. I do have some white ones that I put funky laces in (they looked way too plain for me!). But they’re mostly track/racing shoes and at that point it’s all about speed anyway!

  6. I love your new Mizunos. I went to that studio once and it was fun! There are so many of them popping up everywhere.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah Charleston has a ton of these places, which is one thing I love about it here. Everything’s so artsy but also all about physical activity too. I think you were the first person I talked to who knew about this place!

  7. I think painting is a good way to relax your mind and it brings out the creativity in you. 🙂
    I’ve missed a lot of highschool reunions because I moved here in the US. But a lot of my highschool classmates moved here in the US and they are trying to get hold of everyone so we can arrange a reunion here. 🙂

    I love your new Mizunos by the way. I am not a pink person too but I had no choice with the color of my Newtons. I didn’t care about the color because they’re very comfy for me. 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      That’s kinda neat to have a reunion in the US since your classmates live here now. It makes a lot of sense to have it close to where people live rather than the city you went to school in. I think that’s why ours is in Myrtle Beach. It’s convenient for people who live in my hometown, Charleston, or Myrtle Beach.

  8. allieksmith says:

    I have been wanting to take a painting class so badly!! I just think it’s so cool.

    I loved seeing the old picture of you! You haven’t aged AT ALL! Which is a good thing 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks. Losing weight helped too. I think I look about the same age as I did when I graduated high school!

      You would love the painting class. Look for a Groupon and save some $$$ on it, but they are fun and totally worth it. You can’t even buy a cheap piece of “art” from TJ Maxx for the price and you get the experience!

  9. Is it weird that high school reunions give me the hee bee gee bees? You could not pay me enough to attend one. And my high school experience wasn’t even that bad! On a more positive note, love your new running shoes! My husband and a few friends enjoyed a relaxing day at the beach on Memorial Day and it was perfect.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Looking back, I guess my high school experience could’ve been worse. I’m glad I had band and the friends I did have, I’m forever thankful for them. Without band and those friends, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and probably would be pretty messed up. Fortunately I escaped the millennium generation relatively unscathed.

      Glad you had a good memorial day! Good luck with the foot!

  10. Oh, Amy! Even before you were a runner, you were still way skinnier than me. I was pretty fat in high school! I still am “chunky” as I like to say… I did lose the weight in early college, but it all came back on senior year. 😦 Hopefully I lose it again, and I keep it off by keeping a healthy lifestyle. I remember reading your high school posts on kiwi. 🙂

    To answer your question, I’m not sure if I’ll ever go to a reunion. My “friends” from high school are still pretty immature. I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve stopped hanging out with pretty much all of them. Slightly disturbing things happened. 😦 I’ve been out of high school for 7 years… so maybe I’ll consider the 10th year? 15th year?

    I’m glad the running group’s going well. You seem to be fitting in well and enjoying yourself. I love the purple shoes! I’m off and on with pink things. I do have a lot of pink in my closet… but pink on the shoes? Maybe a little bit.

    Your painting’s phenomenal! You know, I should look into something affordable like that around here. It’d be a lot of fun, and lately I’ve been feeling pretty lonely, so maybe taking some type of class at the career center (usually those are the cheapest!) would help me. Because what I’ve been doing lately is renting movies, checking out books from the library, going on walks, listening to music, journaling, and such, and I do hang out with my parents every now and then, but it still gets lonely around here. Ahhh! Suggestions?

    Hope your Memorial Day weekend was great!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Painting classes are good. I would say though, if you’re lonely try to do something that meets on a regular basis with the same people. The classes are things you attend once and don’t really go back to each week. It’s just a single visit, I guess.

      If you guys have some sort of community center nearby, see if they have group fitness classes. That gets you out of the house, you get a workout in, and you meet people. Studies show people who work out with a group work out longer and keep showing up because they have others waiting on them, motivating them. I know this is true personally. Plus, it may not be expensive. We have a community center here that has classes for $5 per visit, community yoga class is donation based, and my run club is free. You might find something like that on

      Basically… you just have to look around and try things out. If the first thing doesn’t work out, keep trying activities and things. I went to a few networking events when I moved down that ended up just trying to sell me something, bleh. But now I’ve found some techie user groups that I go to regularly. Just gotta stay out there!

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