traveling means something different for everyone. some [like me] get giddy with excitement for wherever the next adventure may be and others are riddled with anxiety because traveling is just not their thing. wherever you may fall among the spectrum, when traveling via airplane or train for long periods of time, it’s important to be prepared. your journey can and will be enjoyable if you bring along a few comforts to keep yourself entertained, full, hydrated and feeling and looking great. below is a list of my top 10 travel necessities that i never travel without.
ah, new zealand. where does one begin? i’ll do a full blog recap of my travels and tips later, but to give you a snippet, new zealand is amazing. david and i honeymooned in fiji then zipped over to new zealand to explore both the north and south island. the south island was by far my favorite, but the north island sure did have its’ hidden gems.
on this particular day, my new hubby and i [that’s so fun to say :)] went wine tasting outside of queenstown. queenstown is one of the coolest cities i’ve ever visited. so, i don’t know why i was surprised when the atmosphere of the wineries was just like that of queenstown. everyone was as friendly and easy-going as it comes. most people in the actual town are not from queenstown and have quite interesting and adventurous stories to tell. needless to say, making friends in the area is not a hard thing to do. so if you decide to visit, and i recommend you do, strike up a conversation with a stranger. they won’t stay a stranger for long.
the wine itself is delicious and drumroll please, super inexpensive! the pours are enormous and charcuterie plates are phenomenal. we made it to 3 wineries after getting a late start to our day and this dress was beyond perfect for the occasion.
new zealand weather is rather pleasant. we went during early fall, so the days were warm and the evenings brought a chill. this free people dress was light enough to keep me cool and enough dress to give me a little warmth. the baby blue hues are right on cue with my current blue crush. for whatever reason, i cannot get enough of baby blue these days. bring on all the blues! [i’m wearing an xs for size reference. free people runs just a tad on the large size and i am usually between an xs and s in other clothing]
these marc fisher wedges are the best wedges i have ever slid my size 7.5 feet into. i walked in them for 5+ hours without a single complaint. walked up and down the hills of new zealand and explored through the wineries, and no complaints. i don’t know how they did it, but they did. the most comfortable wedge has been born. these shoes are worth every penny. you can’t put a price tag on this kind of comfort.
now to the clutch. this $22 show-stopping pom pom clutch has sold out at least 3 times this spring. with that being said, i don’t expect it to stay in stock for too long. it’s the perfect spring and summer clutch. the pom poms add a fun summery flair while the large envelope size allows for plenty to fit inside. and at $22, you can’t go wrong. this is the perfect summer staple.
david and i recently moved to south korea and have been house hunting in the area the past month. prayers that we find the right place are always welcome!
to avoid murphy’s law taking over your perfect day, i do recommend you come prepared with 13 essential items [ aside from the obvious such as your dress, shoes and jewelry]. have a few bridesmaids or your maid of honor help with the list to ensure everything makes it to your big day
1) bobby pins
you never know when you will need an extra or two
2) hair spray:
hair is usually done hours before pictures and nobody wants a fly-away photo-bombing them. having some extra hairspray will no doubt come in handy for those last minute touch ups.
3) aerosol deodorant:
with lots of people in a room + heat tools + emotions, things can get a little warm. keep feeling (and smelling) fresh with aerosol deodorant that is shareable. (you never have to make skin contact). this would go great in a bathroom basket as well.
the biggest mistake most girls make is buying a new pair of shoes to wear with a wedding or bridesmaid dress and wearing them for the first time on the big day. b r e a k t h e m i n but for those that forget, bought the shoes at the last minute or merely didn’t have the time, have those band-aids ready to go! let nothing come between you and that dance floor! your feet will thank you.
well, because things get emotional.
6) cell phone charger
when you have a full day of primping, prepping and instagramming, this becomes a necessity. extension cords, external battery packs, all are handy in the bridesmaid or groomsmen quarters.
you never know when two advil will save the day! the single packets work best. these can also be left in both the men’s and women’s restroom for any guests to use as needed.
8) safety pins
dancing happens and bustles rip. you’re not alone. just grab a safety pin or two and keep the night going strong! this is also handy to keep in the women’s restroom for any janet jackson dress mishaps that occur throughout the evening.
no one likes talking to the person with smelly breathe. keep it bay with a box of altoids or mints.
because you have to celebrate with a little bubbly!
11) oil blotting sheets
these come in handy around picture time. they are a great last minute touchup to ensure you look flawless.
if wherever you decide to get ready does not have a speaker, ask a bridesmaid to pack one along with their bag. pack the charger, just in case, too. a dead speaker won’t do anyone much good. you can call your venue, hotel, etc to check on their music playing capabilities beforehand.
13) mini-sewing kit
because life happens.
tip* with so many girls and make up brushes all in one space, be sure to pack your belongings in an easy to use bag. especially for the bride if leaving for a honeymoon the very next day. things can get hectic while trying to stick to a timeline, so staying organized and having everyone stay on top of their own belongings will pay off at the end of the night.
a snippet into my big day of
there’s no denying it, planning your dream wedding is a lot of work. by the time you’ve decided between the white shimmer linen or the extra white shimmer linen, 3 decision deadlines have passed you by. it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. the best piece of advice i received was this, once a decision is made, stick with it. you could go back and forth all day long and with the help of pintrest and everyone else’s opinion, every decision you make is second guessed. just remember, you do you. and once you decide on something because it’s how you would like it, stick with it. clearly, that’s easier said than done, but a good goal [and time saver] to keep in mind.
one of the most exciting parts of the planning process is planning the morning of your big day. the timeline of hair, make-up and transportation can be a beating, but deciding on getting ready outfits and getting ready playlists can be such a blast! music is always a must for me. it sets the tone and gets the party going. i had my best friend work on a playlist a couple months leading up to the big day and she did not disappoint. we had pump up songs with a fun mix of throwbacks that got every girl in the room singing along. you can never go wrong with a good throwback.
with music duty off my plate, i searched local stores and websites for the perfect outfit to get ready in. i may have over-searched because i ended up finding two. after making so many decisions i decided this was one decision i was going to forego. so, i chose both.
me and the girls had a slumber party the night before and i was so thankful to have them there. in my head we were going to stay up all night long and jump on the bed while dancing to music in our cute pj’s, but in reality we chatted, spent some unforgettable quality time together and got a good nights rest. we all had a long day coming up!
our morning started with hair. to make things a little easier and speedier with 12 bridesmaids, i rented out blo bar. for our morning outfit choice, i chose oversize shirts that are incredibly soft and comfortable and asked all the girls to wear white jeans. it turned out perfect. the shirts were monogrammed with each girls’ initials and complemented the jeans perfectly. not mention, everyone was comfy and was able to change clothes without ruining their hair. [button up shirts are awesome for this!]
from hair, we went back to our hotel for lunch, then to our venue for make up. this is where outfit number two came in. after finding my white romper, there was no turning back for me. i knew i had to wear it. then i found the most perfect black rompers that complimented my white bridal romper. there was no doubt in my mind about choosing both looks. i don’t exactly recommend it, but no regrets. to my knowledge the day ran smoothly. if there were any hiccups, i didn’t know about them and quite frankly don’t think i want to know about them 🙂
choosing your bridesmaids can be tough. you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or have anyone feel left out, but the decision has to be made. once that decision is made, you have the fun task of choosing the dress for your bridesmaids. for some, this may see daunting. for others, it’s a blast! i used three simple steps to help ease my decision process and ultimately found the perfect dress.
my husband and i both looked at our lives and felt beyond blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people. if it were up to us, everyone we loved would have been by our sides as we said “i do.” of course, that’s not how it actually goes.. but i guess on your wedding day you really can do whatever you please :).
my biggest deciding factor was, “who do i trust to call when i need advice or just need to vent?” once i asked myself that question, the answer was clear as day. i chose my best friends, the girls i enjoy spending time with [this is very important as you will be spending lots of time with them], and the girls that know me best. i wrote down a dream list if you will, to compare numbers with my husband’s groomsmen dream list [fiancé at the time]. when we both showed our lists, our numbers were identical. my dream list consisted of 12 girls, and his dream list consisted of 12 men. it turned out being one of the easiest wedding decision we had to make.
once numbers were decided, the next big decision was, “what do they wear?” i wanted an all white wedding with touches or natural greenery and gold. i wanted the bridesmaid dresses to go with the theme. i spent countless hours searching for gold dresses and sequined dresses [it was a NYE wedding!] but nothing screamed out my name. i even considered adding a touch of maroon and pink to the mix [still think that color palette is just breathtaking] but all white, gold and natural greenery was still my number 1 choice. my back up plan, which i was trying to avoid, was to have the girls where white dress – which i’m not opposed to, but h e l l o, it was my wedding day. all white would have been beautiful, but there is something special about standing out for your new husband on your special day.
instead, i started looking at more neutral palettes. i searched for quite sometime until i stumbled upon the dress. it was perfect. it was whimsical and dreamy, flirty but classy and exactly what i had been looking for. i had an idea of what i wanted when i started my search. i wanted it to be fairytale-like and flowly. i was cautious about complimenting every different body-type, i wanted the dresses to be fun but leave some to the imagination if you know what i mean… there were multiple dresses that would fit the bill, but i knew this was the one.
just to rain on my parade, the dress was being discontinued and had only a few sizes left. i had 12 bridesmaids. 12. i knew by the time i had them all order the dress on their own, the dress would have been sold out. which would have meant i was back to square one. so, i naturally did what any crazed and sleep-deprived bride-to-be would do. i ordered 27 dresses. i wanted to make sure everyone had the size that made them most comfortable, so i stayed up all night guessing what size would fit who best, buying 2, sometimes 3 dresses just to make sure at least one of them would fit. totally normal, right?
in end the end, the dresses could not have been more perfect. everyone had a dress that fit them perfectly and each one of the girls looked absolutely stunning as they confidently walked down the aisle and stood by my side.
my 3 biggest determining factors were
1) ask yourself, “is this dress something i would wear?”
if it is, then that tells you the dress is your style. as the bride, you are the one that decided on your theme, your dress, your decor, your venue, your everything… because it was all a part of your style. so trust your judgement. if it passes step one, then you are more than likely right on target.
2) ask yourself, “is this dress something i would buy?”
not because of its style, we cleared that up with step one. step two is based solely on cost. weddings add up fast for both the bride and the wedding party. if you are asking your bridesmaids to purchase a dress [which is completely normal and very common– to all you brides who purchase your bridesmaids dresses for your girls, you go girl!] would you spend the amount of money on the dress that you are asking your bridesmaids to spend? i recommend setting a maximum amount prior to even beginning your search. most online stores will allow you to categorize by price. make this a priority. your girl squad will appreciate it so much.
3) does this dress have the potential for any “oopsies”
one thing to keep in mind is that everyone has a different body-type. for me, having 12 bridesmaids, i had to make sure the dress was okay for girls of all letters of the alphabet… you catch my drift? i also wanted to make sure that it was a comfortable dress that made everyone feel as radiant as they looked. i didn’t want anyone having any restrictions or hesitations breaking it down on the dance floor, all the while avoiding any “oopsie” janet jackson moments. the one shoulder was perfect for what i was looking for. it added a little extra support without taking away the flirty and fun look of the dress.
if you need any help finding the perfect dress, shoot me an e-mail. i would love to help!! firstname.lastname@example.org
narrowing down what i wanted to include on this post was difficult. probably the best problem i’ve had all year. there is so much on sale. not just the dinky “save 10% off” sales, but save 50%, 60%, 70% +! these prices are rock bottom on quality brands. some things are as low at $9. $9!!! it’s not just a winter clearance sale either, some great options for spring, summer and even bridal are up to 70% off. below are some of my favorite picks along with some of my favorite stores to shop at with their current discounts. it’s difficult to not want everything.
nordstrom currently has 40% off great finds. promotion ends february 26th.
nastygal currently is offerring 70% off EVERYTHING. yup. everything.
macy’s is offering an addition 20% off in select departments with code “super” at check out.
revolve currently has some of my favorite brands up to 70% off including a lot of pieces i personally wore for engagment festivities.
oversized sweaters are my jam. have you ever been uncomfortable in an oversized sweater? no. never. they’re the best clothing item [especially after all the scrumptious holiday food]. free people never fails to deliver a beautiful, comfy, cozy, oversized sweater.
this sweater is no exception. i purchased this teracotta color because of its’ uniqueness. my closet is full of black, white and grey oversized sweaters so this new addition was a great pop of color. the sweater does run large (larger than most) so i do recommend ordering a size down. it also shed on the first wear. giving it a quick wash fixed that problem immediately.
i purchased these fun green pants because i am all about greens these days. green has always been my favorite color, but i find myself gravitating toward this shade in everything these days. they have a slight shine that add a fabulous touch, making them the perfect pair of pants. i wear them on my casual days with a simple white t-shirt and a good pair of flats.
with a new year comes new resolutions, new goals and a new life attitude. this year, the new year brought me a new incredible husband, a new place to call my temporary home and a new huge adventure on the horizon [i’ll announce all about this in the next coming weeks].
with such large life changes, i’ve found myself being quite reflective and just grateful for where God has me in life. i have my struggles, my inconveniences, my days where nothing seems to go right, but i would do it all 10x over knowing it would put me right where i am today.
to be completely honest, with all the changes in my life, i haven’t even set a new years resolution. my year started with my wedding, a quick mini-moon to tulum, mexico [post coming soon], and another temporary move. it’s been a whirlwind to say the least, but knowing what’s on the horizon and knowing that i have my best friend by my side to do all of life with, this year i just want to be grateful. i want to be grateful of the good, the bad and the ugly.
i’m working on all of my blog recaps of the most magical day of my life. if there is anything in particular that you want to see be sure to shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com and i’ll do my best to make sure all questions are answered.
christmas is in t-4 days! does it not feel like december came and went in the blink of an eye?!
if you still have yet to check everyone off on your christmas list, don’t fret– there’s still time!
danielwellington has some of my favorite watches ( they are a staple of mine and i wear it at least 5 out of 7 days of the week) + 15% off with code “jasmine15” at checkout. each watch is versatile, timeless and very well-made. you will definitely be the hero having one of these under your tree for your special someone.
for the home décor guru, pottery barn still has plenty of options including 50% off all faux fur pillows. i’ve purchased and registered for these and cannot wait to decorate my living room couch with them!!
use code “merry” for free shipping
for the electronic lover, amazon is always a go-to. with 2-day prime, you could even purchase your gift tomorrow and still receive it by Christmas (however, i would place your order asap, just to be on the safe side!)
for the fashionista, you still have time to shop from one of my favorite sites, shopbop. they offer 2-day free shipping with an amazon prime membership. below are some of my favorite picks.
and as always, nordstrom will have your back. they are one of the most trustworthy sites to purchase from and have the absolute best return policy!
hope you all have a very merry christmas and very happy holidays 🙂
our loved ones can be the toughest to shop for! you want whatever you get them to be perfect, to be their favorite gift they’ve ever received. and when you keep giving them their favorite gift they ever received, it’s tough to keep topping the previous. but i said tough, not impossible. think about that special guy in your life, brother, father, boyfriend, husband, neighbor [you would be the world’s best neighbor] and think about what they enjoy doing most. from there, i’ve got you covered. shop above or shop below. either way, add a little extra love to your gift and your sure to give the best gift ever.
a little life update: the wedding countdown is on! only 24 days to go. whaaat! people are not kidding when they say the time flies. i’ve been getting such amazing wedding tips and tricks from everyone and am so grateful! i’ve been taking notes on everything! planning is such a crazy process and every little bit helps, so thank you so very much. 🙂
as sad as i am to say goodbye to my cut-off shorts and tanks, i am just as equally thrilled for pull over sweaters, booties and fall denim. truth be told, i am extremely picky when it comes to jeans. a good pair of jeans aren’t easy to come by. and when you do come by them, you want them to last forever. i’ve had my fair share of $20 forever21 jeans and $30 target jeans, but nothing compares to a good fit pair of jeans.
a good pair of blue jeans is an investment [some don’t come very cheap], but they don’t have to be boring either. every year i invest in 2 or 3 good blue jeans then leave a little room for some trendy pieces. last fall i was all about the wide flare jeans [they’re still around] and this fall i’m loving velvet and prints.
every body type fits jeans differently. citizens of humanity jeans are well made, but stretch out with a few wears [nothing a quick toss in the dryer can’t fix, i actually enjoy the give on some days]. hudson jeans fit like a glove and tend to stay that way [these are my oo la la! jeans]. paige is just your comfy everyday jean. then there are rag and bone jeans which are one of my favorites [but cost a pretty penny] and of course, blank denim. blank denim is fun, trendy and affordable. and that’s just to name a few.
then there is the decision of color. how are there thousands of shades of blue jean?! there are so many shades. not to mention, maroon jeans and black and green jeans and so many colors. i label the colored jeans into my fun trendy pairs. i like to mix and match colors and patterns that work well with my skin tone and have a little fun with them. as for traditional blue jeans, staying towards darker shades always gives a nice slimming effect. but there are some real fun light shades that are just hard to say no to. hey— flaunt what you got, girl!
do spend some time trying on your jeans before purchasing, or deciding to keep an online order. i always walk [or pace in the dressing room] to get a feel of how the material moves, as well as sit and throw in a squat or two. the squat, because a squat never hurt anyone [okay, maybe if they were squatting heavy weights.. ] but also to make sure the jeans cover your goods. after you find a pair that fit you well, decide whether to hem them for an everyday wear paired with flats, or keep the length for pairings with heels and booties. you can always skip the hem and roll the bottom of your jeans as well.
below are some of favorite picks in different styles and colors. click the pictureto be taken directly to a shop-able link. happy fall!
fun and trendy
wedding planning update: wedding planning is hard work! i’ve quickly learned to appreciate other people’s weddings so much more. great job on the napkin choice! the color scheme was perfect! these plate chargers are beautiful. every bride deserves those compliments and so much! also- i’m getting more and more excited with each passing day. 72 days to go:)
happy friday. don’t you wish every day was as happy as friday?! this friday is a little extra special with all the amazing sales going on. here is a little sneak peek at some of my engagment pictures [more to come] wearing two tularosa dresses, both of which are one sale!
one of my favorite sites to shop at, shopbop, is having the event of the season and you can take 25% or 30% off of your entire order! use code [MAINEVENT16] at checkout. i purchase all my one teaspoon shorts, wildfox sweaters, and rag and bone jeans through this site and have already started crossing off my Christmas list! shop some of my favorites below.
macy’s is also having a wonderful sale with a 25% off wardrobe special. macy’s is a great site to keep an eye out for discounts. they like to offer their 10%-15% specials regularly, but 25% off is always a treat!
y’all, it’s here. i’m sure you’ve heard every blogger, every shopper and every person talk about the nordstrom anniversary sale. there’s a reason for that. this is one of the best sales of the year. if not the best. what makes it so great you ask? ah, too easy. nordstrom discounts items that are brand new up to 40% off. did you catch that part? brand new for the season.
it’s not stocking up on 50% off winter coats for next year or buying cute shorts in october for next july. [no shame in doing either, definitely do it every single year]. but the anniversary sale isn’t that kind of sale. it’s buying pieces that are out for the very season you are in and the very next season after that.
the sale grants early access t o d a y for all card holders and opens up to the public july 22 – august 8. once the sale ends, all pieces go back to full price.
everything goes quickly. so be sure to shop your favorites first. i’ve listed three easy shopping tips below and below that, my favorite anniversary sale finds.
1. know your budget
convincing yourself you’re saving money by spending money can easily get out of hand. you are saving but not by spending. set a budget and adhere to it. i always like to find an item or two that i can splurge on and then maintain my normal shopping patterns with everything else.
2. search by designer
if hudson jeans are your go to and free people tops are your style, select these in the filter section and shop them first. i can’t stress enough, everything goes quickly. get your sizes in your favorites while you can.
3. make a list
make a list of things you will need this season. shop these first. if there is money left in your budget after your necessities are checked off, search the sale for the things you want.
one thing i always do during the nordstrom anniversary sale is stock up on gifts. i get ahead on christmas shopping, birthday presents and keep some on hand for house warming or just because gifts. lots of accessories and candles go on sale [ones that rarely ever go on sale]. you can never go wrong with jewelry and candles.
it isn’t summer without summer dresses. this beautiful white tularosa dress is thick enough to not be see through [no slip needed] but thin enough to enjoy a cool summer breeze which makes it the perfect summer dress. the length falls a classy few inches above my knee [i’m 5’3] and fits true to size.
dresses are always my summer time go-to. they are the easiest and lowest maintenance outfit [beside jammies and onsies] out there. throw on one piece of clothing, add a couple accessories and bam! outfit complete. you can get dressed in minutes and still look like a smoke show. talk about ideal.
however, summer dresses can be a tricky find. some are too short [sorry tall girls] some are too long [it’s summer], some are see-through [no thank you], some have a terrible clingy fabric that sticks to your body in the summer heat [ew] and some are just frumpy. but every once in a while a gem finds its way into your wardrobe and the moment of joy commences.
this tularosa summer dress just so happens to be one of my summer gems. it perfectly rocks the off-shoulder trend. the shoulders stay draped across your arms even with movement. i have a number of off the shoulder tops that i am constantly adjusting after sitting and standing. this beauty stays put.
the stunning blue embroidery adds the perfect amount of color and pop to the dress to make it versatile. pair it with flats or some gladiator sandals for a casual day outfit or dress it up with nude wedges and some colorful drop earrings for a night out with the girls.
wedding update: currently in the process of solidifying a venue and date. y’all, i had no idea how much work and research goes into planning a wedding. props to all the brides and past brides out there! you ladies are incredible!
happy friday! you’re almost there. just a few more hours until the weekend officially starts!
this friday we have some major sales going on. one of my favorite and most trusted brands and one of my favorite shopping sites are both giving additional percentages off their sale. whaat! that’s savings on savings.
take an extra 25% all shopbop sale items using code “25extra” at checkout.
tory burch is one of those brands that you just know you’re getting quality with. i have a couple pair of sandals that i wear down until i just can’t wear anymore [always a sad day] and a tote that travels everywhere i do. they have some amazing staple bags, totes, backpacks and shoes all on sale. sizes go quickly and this sale doesn’t happen often [semi-annually], so if you find something you love be sure to snag it up before someone else does.