this little number has comfy written all over it. at an under $40 price point this pink dress [that also comes in green and grey] is an absolute must.
it’s perfect for the summer to fall transition. the dress it self is made of a thicker and warmer material, yet is still lightweight and incredibly comfortable with pockets. dresses + pockets are always a win. and can we talk about the ruffle on the sleeve? it’s definitely my favorite part. it’s flirty and fun but not overbearing. basically the perfect combo.
i paired this dress with a light weight scarf and booties to welcome the fall transitional weather. if you’re somewhere where the temps are still hitting the 90’s and above [bless you], swap out the booties and scarf for some fun kicks like these and viola, you’re weather appropriate. the dress fits tts, however i would recommend ordering a size up if you are on the taller side and don’t care to have your backside peeking out when bending/sitting.
this scarf is another must-have. it’s long in length which allows for multiple ways to wrap it and create new and fun looks. one of my biggest pet peeves is short scarf that you can’t even tie around your neck. i mean, what’s the point?!
this clare v. clutch goes just about everywhere with me. it is an investment piece and does cost a pretty penny. however, you know i love finding a good dupe and y’all, i found the perfect copy cat! it’s incredible affordable and looks great! [see “shop the post” below].
in other news, i’ve been trying to keep true to my new years resolution this year and pay it forward with compliments. ever realize the only time you pick up a phone to call a company to “speak to the manager” is to complain? how about we call to brag on an employee for giving great customer service. or compliment a stranger because you like the scarf their wearing [don’t be creepy though…] you never know what kind of impact you could have on someone’s day or even life. a little kindness goes a long way. so let’s flood the lives of others with kindness and love!
so encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing | 1 thessalonians 5:11
have at least one day a week where you don’t apply any heat to your hair. [you can do this every other week if once a week is just too much]. every 3-4 weeks [on your heat free day] apply a deep conditioner and really give your hair some TLC.
you can also use a moroccan oil or something equivalent to provide your hair with much needed nutrients on your heat free days.
shop deep conditioners and oils
2. dry shampoo
dry shampoo is life. the best way to apply is by sectioning off the top portion of your hair. secure the bottom portion with a hair tie. let the top half fall with your part showing. then start with one side of your part. using a comb [or your fingers] separate the top layer of hair and apply the dry shampoo at the root of the hair. [ you never want to apply dry shampoo on the very top layer of your hair.]
once you apply the dry shampoo shake your fingers through your hair to disperse it thoroughly. for extra volume, move your fingers in a circular motion to create a tease in your hair.
if you are a warm sleeper, or know you will be working out/going to be outside in the morning, use dry shampoo before bed. i specifically apply dry shampoo to the bottom layers of my hair [always at the root] before bed when i’m in between washes. this helps my hair stay clean while i sleep.
shop dry shampoos
3. use a blow dryer
if you plan on styling your hair and making it last, use a blow dryer. it’s no myth that washing your hair every day isn’t the best for it. if you have a mane like mine [lots of thick, curly hair with a mind of its’own], washing your hair every day isn’t practical because #ittakesavillage [am i right!?].
one of the most effective ways to make the most out of your wash day and keep your hair looking fresh and grease free for a few extra days, is to use your blow dryer. alwaysalwaysalways use a heat protector prior, but do give yourself a mini blowout. this helps to get rid of some of the natural oils in your hair that tend to weigh it down and give it that greasy and dirty look.
i personally blow dry my hair, then use a flat iron to straighten and style. using a flat iron brings back some of those oils, so as a final touch up, i will blow dry my hair just at the crown to get rid of some of those excess oils. this not only gives ample volume, but keeps your hair looking cleaner, longer.
shop blow dryers
4. sleep with a silk pillow case
bed head is real and it is avoidable. try swapping your pillow case out for a silk one. [some of my favorites are below]. your every day pillow case can cause friction with your hair, resulting in the dreaded split ends and for me, a hot tangled mess. the silk proteins are more gentle on your hair, so you wake up with that “i woke up like this” hair. ladies, we flawless. [ i had to ].
another great tip, if you sleep with your hair tied up try a scrunchie. yup, a good ‘ole 80’s style scrunchie. the scrunchie is softer on your hair and prevents the crease that a normal hair tie creates.
shop pillow cases and scrunchies
5. condition then shampoo
this little swap-a-roo makes a surprising difference. conditioner is wonderful for your hair, but it also weighs it down and leaves it moisture-rich [which is not technically a bad thing]. if you have healthy hair, try conditioning first, then apply the shampoo. this will add a little extra volume and give you an extra day in between washes.
my hair tends to dry out on the ends, so i condition just the ends of my hair after shampooing to add back the necessary moisture.
if you’re over hearing about it, this is your moment to rejoice. if you have been eyeing an item, this is your moment to pull the trigger. with free shipping + free returns, now is your chance because the beloved nordstrom sale ends in just 3 days.
this years’ sale had tons of great items at killer prices but let’s be real, you had to be on stalker status with the nordstrom page or your favorite bloggers insta stories to grab your favorites in the right size if you wanted any chance at getting some of those hot ticket items. just about all sale items popped back up throughout the sale, but even then… they were gone again within minutes. at times i enjoyed the game of cat and mouse. but those times were rare.
although many items have been sold out, there still are some great pieces that have been restocked [can’t promise they will stay in stock] but they’re available right now, so if you’re reading this, don’t walk… run!
below you will find my top 5 picks in each category. all are products i have purchased, already have, or brands that i stand behind because of quality and comfort. the bobbi brown lipstick found in my top 5 beauty products is actually the color i wore on my wedding day. loved it then and love it now. the rag and bone jeans were life changing for me. i never felt comfortable in jeans [no idea why] but these jeans were a game changer. they made me mix up my leggings and an oversized tee uniform with joy.
if you’re on the fence about something, go ahead and order it before prices go up. if you don’t like it, send it right back. [if you do this, decide whether you will be keeping the item the day you get it. if the answer is no, send it back before the week is over and check that off your to-do list as soon as you can]. but if you love it, then you congrats– you found a great nordstrom anniversary sale deal 🙂
below is a breakdown of some of my favorite nordstrom shoes that are on major sale. all of these are currently in stock, but sizes are flying off the shelves and most will not last. however, nordstrom is doing a great job of restocking items throughout the sale. with almost 2 weeks left, i am certain you can expect many more restocks to come, so if your favorite is out of stock in your size, keep checking back. [woohoo!]
booties and boots are two of my favorite items to stock up on during the sale. i shop the shoe sale by finding my favorite pair of shoes in each category. booties and/or boots first, then sneakers [because it’s important to workout in a good pair of shoes so they can serve their purpose — check your sneakers to make sure they aren’t too worn down!], then i look at slides and flats. i always find a pair of flats that i absolutely fall in love with. this year, it’s this pair. these vince flats are the perfect shade of blue and i cannot wait to pair them with white jeans for the fall. you heard that correctly, white after labor day is a-okay in my book. white jeans can make for a perfect winter look.
this pair of vince camuto booties was my top pick in the bootie category. they’ve sold out numerous times and i can easily see why. they match just about everything. i’ve styled them with dresses, jeans and even shorts with light sweaters for a good transitional piece [see here for reference]. they have the perfect amount of height and are comfortable enough to walk the town in. no wonder they’ve been a huge hit this year!
as for sneakers, this was quite a toss up for me. for traveling, and city walking, this pair of nikes wins hands down. however, if i’m being honest… i don’t like running in nikes. most of their fashionable sneakers are not meant for long distance running, and i really do enjoy running and running a good distance. it’s therapeutic for me. so, i don’t want my feet aching and ruining my runs. i learned this lesson the hard way after spontaneously running a half marathon in nike free’s. i will never make that mistake again. but i do love wearing nikes while traveling and on days i know i will be doing lots of walking. [still have love for my nikes.] for running, these asics win by a landslide. they provide excellent support, are comfortable, look great and best of all hold up during long runs.
if you find a pair you like, try them out. nordstrom has free ship + free return, so you have nothing to lose!
hello! and welcome to the new this or that series. shopping can be intimidating and sometimes we want to just buy the first thing we see so we can be done. well, by we i mean a group of people in which i’m not included. because i really do enjoy shopping and i enjoy finding a good deal. i’ll be the first to scoop up a dupe of something i want to give a try or, i will spend a good amount of time researching an item, reading reviews and checking on the quality before purchasing an investment piece. so if you’re one of those, “nope, don’t want to waste my time on shopping” kind of people, this will be your new favorite series.
every friday i’ll be rotating with a this or that orweekend sales post. so, get ready to save money!
first up we have the trending leopard print bootie. as you can see there is a whopping price difference. because this is a piece that would not be on an everyday rotation for me, i would hands down choose that. if leopard booties are something that you have had your eye on and will be your favorite purchase of the year, then make the splurge. but, before you do, make sure that if you’re going to drop some serious cash on these booties that they’re something you would wear next year during the season as well. i recommend only splurging on pieces that you know you will get good wear out of.
next on the docket we have the beloved free people dress that i’m sure you’ve seen many bloggers wearing vs a near identical dupe from goodnight macaroon. this one for me, is a toss up. i love free people. i love the oversized comfy fit, and i know my size in their product [ xs for reference ]. however, when you can cut the price more than half, i think when it comes down to it, i would again opt for the dupe. to be honest, i keep trying to find a significant difference to make me go for the free people dress because i love the brand that much, but i cannot. the sleeves are sinched the same way, the pattern is near identical and both are very similar lengths. the one thing i can say is this, the free people dress does come in multiple colors, whereas the dupe only has 2 options. still, h e l lo savings!
use code “anniversary” to get the dupe down to $45. promotion ends 7/30. dress will go back to $75 after, which is still a huge savings in comparison.
last and certainly not least, we have two of my favorite brands, vince camuto and rebecca minkoff. i purchased this rebecca minkoff bag over a year ago and absolutely love it. i take it everywhere when traveling because i find crossbody bags to be most comfortable and easiest to tote around while on the go. that being said, vince camuto just came out with this near identical beauty. the major difference between the two would be the tassels. after looking at both bags, i would have to say i would choose that and go with the rebecca minkoff. i love how soft rebecca minkoff bags are, and the tassels are a huge draw for me. my style has always had a boho flair and this just fits me perfectly. [the tassels can be easily removed if they are not your things] for those that would choose the dupe, purchase quickly! it is currently a part of the nordstrom anniversary sale. the killer savings unfortunately disappear august 7th and this bag will go back up to $248.
i’m going to start this out by saying marriage is awesome. i’ve only been married for 7 months now so i am by no means an expert but i can and have looked back on my day with some major take aways. did everything go as planned? as far as i know, they did, but that’s because if they didn’t, i did not want to know. was it the happiest day of my life? you bet it was. did my dress stay in pristine condition? haha, 45 minutes into the reception + a little stumble resulted into the dumping of an entire cup of coffee on my gown. did it ruin my night? heck no! a little soda water ( and miraculously, white wine ) and i was good as new!
i had some amazing people by my side giving me tips throughout the process on how to make my wedding day the best day ever. at first i thought, yeah yeah… these are just things everyone says. but, let me tell you… you are in control on your day. if you make it the best day of your life it absolutely will be.
below are 5 tips that helped me make the most out of the most magical day of my life. i hope they can do the same for you, because memories on your wedding are some of the most special and treasured times.
1. don’t sweat the small stuff
when your big day comes around, don’t worry about everything working out. there are so many moving pieces to a wedding that it is inevitable that something goes wrong. and when it does, don’t sweat it. in fact, you probably won’t even know if something did go wrong. i put my maid of honor in charge of any issues or assistance needed. your friends ( especially bridesmaids ) are there to support you and make sure you have a great time. don’t be afraid to ask them for help. especially with communications or stresses that could take away from you enjoying every single moment.
don’t let anything get in the way of having the best time of you life. in the end, you get to marry the man or woman of your dreams and you get to do life with them. y’all it’s an incredible journey. and let’s be real, you worked way too hard to make your day perfect for it to be anything less than that. so focus on the big picture. if there’s a hiccup, embrace it and move on.
2. remember it is your wedding
well yours and your spouses of course. whatever you do, do not feel pressured to make everyone happy at your wedding. that is never going to happen. make sure your day is a reflection of you and your spouse. remember, that is who is being celebrated. weddings can bring out all kinds of emotions in people and sometimes even a little crazy. as a bride, you want to make sure everyone enjoys themselves fully, but you must always keep the bigger picture in mind and do what’s best for the majority. in every wedding there is always someone with an opinion. listen to all suggestions, but take them with a grain of salt. you don’t have to do anything by the book. there are no rules and no regulations. if you want to serve dessert first, because that’s the way you and your spouse do it, eat dessert first! your guests are there to celebrate and support you. not the other way around.
3. be in the moment
on your big day, take a deep breath. in fact, take lots of deep breaths. i’m sure you’ve heard a million times before, but your day will go by so quickly. make sure to soak up every single moment you can. when else do you get to be surrounded by all the people you love most just to celebrate your love? it is such a special time.
i remember just stopping to look around and take mental pictures because everything felt so surreal. it felt as if i was walking through a dream that i never want to wake up from. it’s a feeling i will never forget and forever cherish.
4. hire a good photographer
memories last a lifetime but so do photos. hiring a photographer that you enjoy being around and are able to honestly communicate your expectations with is key. you cannot go back and replicate the moments in time, so be sure to hire someone to capture them for you. going back and looking through wedding photos still gives me butterflies, as i hope it always does.
these pictures are ones that i will forever treasure and cannot wait to someday look through all of them again with my children and grandchildren and tell them about the most magical day of my life.
5. be thankful
this one doesn’t need much of an explanation. for all things, be thankful. be thankful you get to marry your best friend. be thankful the people you love most are all in one room, because you brought them together. be thankful for the memories. be thankful for all the love in the room. and be thankful all the planning is over!
my husband and i asked our wedding planner to make sure to pull us aside so we could have a moment to ourselves to take it all in at our wedding. this moment was incredible. david and i went for a walk and found a bench and just sat next to one another feeling blessed beyond measure and so thankful for everything.
your wedding day may not go exactly as planned, but if you find the beauty in the imperfections you will have the most perfect day.
i’m sure you have heard about the nordstrom sale from 1238979384579 other bloggers by this point. but let me tell you, there’s a reason for that. it’s the perfect time to stock up on great fall pieces and staple items. all items are new fall pieces and prices go back up august 6th. before shopping the sale i always:
1. set a budget. no need to go broke over here!
2. write down what fall pieces you need and shop those first. allocate the bulk of your budget to necessities. jeans, basic pieces like white t-shirts and purses are usually my go-to’s. make sure to leave a little budget wiggle room for number 3.
3. try something new. find a piece or style that you have been wanting to try and step out of your comfort zone. allocate the remainder of your budget to steals you find that would go great with the pieces you found on your necessities list.
tip: building outfits will go a long way. by doing this you won’t buy a top, skirt or pair of shoes that you will never wear because you have nothing to match them with. that only results in additional purchases. so find versatile pieces that go with things already in your closet and statement pieces that you can easily pair with a nice pair of denim or heels that you already own.
the above collage is made of my favorite pieces in the sale and are ones that will sell out fast! i ordered all except for the lamp and drybar sprays because sadly they would not ship to an APO. [i’m currently living overseas with my husband who is serving in the military]. but had they shipped, i would have gotten two of those beautiful lamps for my nightstands and had 3 day old hair look fresh and smelling great. [i guess a girl can dream].
with that being said, there sadly is no overnight ship option and nordstrom has not made it’s way over to south korea yet, so for sizing and full details on all products check back in 10 days or head over to my instagram[click to follow me if you aren’t already 🙂 ] stories around for a try on haul where i can assure you, i will be brutally honest. the pieces i love stay and the pieces i don’t go! i’ll have everything just in time for the sale to open up to the public so hold tight. until then, shop my favorite picks above by clicking on the pictures or the coordinating numbers below and/or way way below where i’ve categorized items by $50 and under and $100 and under. you can also shop by going to “nordstrom sale 2017″ found on the top menu bar of my blog. and last but most definitely not least, be sure to check the bottom of the page for the awesome giveaway happening now!
shop my favorites under $50
shop my favorites under $100
in the spirit of the sale, i have teamed up with same amazing blogger babes to give one lucky reader an incredible gucci bag. y’all… can i win my own giveaway? it’s as timeless as it gets and is a bag that the lucky winner will treasure forever. scroll down below to enter. best of luck <3
Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. The more “tasks” you complete, the more entries you will receive. The winner will be announced (on the widget) within 2 weeks of the giveaway ending. The giveaway is open worldwide.
with the numerous moves and hotel stays i have had the past year and a half, i found myself struggling to sleep at night. when i finally did fall asleep, i woke up feeling unrested. this is not the way anyone wants to start their day. and h e l l o, a girl needs her beauty sleep. after trying every trick in the book, i found the 9 tips below to be most helpful at getting a good night’s rest.
take a hot bath
this is one of my favorite things to do before bed. the warm bath water relaxes your body and muscles and helps you enter that groggy state right before bed. your body temperature rises as you lay in the warm water, so make sure to leave a little bit of time after your bath to allow your body to cool down and be in the ideal state to fall asleep.
skip late night snacks
the sugar and calories in late night snacks may be keeping you up at night. calories are essentially energy. you want your energy to wind down before bed, instead of wind up. if you feel you are hungry, try having a cup of warm tea instead. be sure to leave enough time to use the restroom before bed, so you are not disrupting your sleep cycle with having to get up in the middle of the night. 1-2 hours prior to bed is as close as i would cut it.
you can avoid the urge to snack all together by eating a colorful dinner filled with veggies and a light protein about 4-5 hours before bed. having a well balanced dinner will help prevent late night hunger pangs.
charge your phone in another room
having electronics in your bedroom is a major no-no. that goes for laptops, ipads, reading devices and cell phones. screen lights trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. this may cause troubles when it comes time to fall asleep. it also prevents you from feeling the need to answer any messages, e-mails, or social media updates that may stimulate your mind prior to bed. we all do it and we all know we shouldn’t. charging your phone in another room is a great way to finally take action and make moves towards a healthier you.
invest in your bed/bedding
think about it. what is the one place you spend most of your time? your bed! you may [hopefully] not be awake for most of that time, but a good chunk of your life is spent sleeping. mattresses and bedding are items that last a good while. if you purchase quality, you could actually save yourself some money, backache and hours laying awake in the long run. my husband and i have spent many nights in hotels recently and neither of us were sleeping well. we finally got to move into our home and unwrap our tuft and needle mattress and brooklinen bedding and it was a game changer. we are now sleeping like babies. if you’re in the market for new bedding and or a mattress, i can’t say enough good things about both of them. they’re a match made in heaven. jumping into bed has become one of the most relaxing and enjoyable parts of our day. [as it should be.]
hang out in a room other than your bedroom 1-2 hours prior to bed
according to my doctor, and many studies, the bedroom should be used for sleep and sex only. that’s right, i said it! but really, your bedroom should be your designated place of rest. you wouldn’t be comfortable sleeping in your office, would you? this goes for reading a book in bed, watching late night TV, crossword puzzles, whatever it may be, consider it a no-no. leave your bed as a sleep [or sex] zone only. your body will feel relaxed and ready for bed upon entering your room, which is exactly how you want to feel before bed.
add scents that relax the mind and body to your room
my personal favorite bedtime scents are lavender or chamomile. i use lavender essential oils before bed. i rub some on my wrists and behind my ears about 30 minutes prior to bedtme. it works like a charm every time. the aromas help calm and relax the body. this will get you and your body in the perfect state to get a good night’s rest.
if essential oils are not for you, i recommend trying non-heated infusers, a room spray, or wall plug-in. [if using a wall plug-in, i recommend either turning the scent meter up before bed, or completely unplugging during the day and plug-in 1-2 hours before bed]. you want to avoid using candles before bed because you don’t ever want to fall asleep with a lit candle.
try going sleep at the same time every night
we’ve all heard it. our bodies like routine. [but not for everything]. try going to bed and waking up around the same time every evening and morning. this will help get your body used to bed time. sounds simple and basic, but sometimes we need the reminder. [i know i sure do!]
turn on a fan
using a fan serves two great purposes. first, our body temperature rises as we sleep. one of the reasons for tossing and turning throughout the night is that we become too hot. this could lead to interruptions in your sleep cycle with you waking up in the middle of the night.
fans help keep you cool throughout the night and help minimize sleep interruptions. [if it initially is too chilly for you, throw on a pair of socks to help keep your feet warm.]
second, a fan’s white noise helps drown out any other surrounding noise that you may be focusing on. as a light sleeper, i tend to hear every creak and cranny happening around me. having white noise helps distract your mind from noises that may be keeping you awake. it works wonders for me. a noise machine or playing music at low volumes work as well.
getting exercise, whether it is going out for a walk, run or hitting the gym, is said to help you get a better night’s rest. exercise increases your body’s temperature. the drop in body temperature post exercise may promote better sleep. some experts even say exercise helps reset the sleep cycle. exercise has also been linked to helping decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. both which may cause insomnia and may be keeping you awake at night.
after a mini hiatus, i am officially back. if you have not been following along on snapchat or instagram stories, here’s a little recap: i have spent the last year and a half moving from one place to the other [10 moves total… so much packing and unpacking, then packing and more unpacking. i’m basically a pro these days. have they added this to olympic sports yet? ] throw a wedding [mine] in the mix and a whopping international move to south korea and you have one exhausted lady!
however, we are finally settled into our new 13th floor apartment [13 is not an unlucky number in south korea. 4 on the other hand… ] our lucky 13th floor apartment [that’s what i have decided to call it] was not an easy find. after 7 apartments slipped through our fingers we finally snagged our new lovely home. i’ll be honest, it was not my first choice. the location is amazing and probably the best that we’ve seen, but the interior was definitely not my first choice.
at first, the apartment hunt was exciting. i was bright-eyed and ready to make a home with my husband. then, it quickly became daunting. south korean homes are quite different than the american home. but we kept going, searching for the right one. and then, we found it. and someone else got it before us. so the search continued. more homes, more colorful and intricate wallpaper. and finally, the perfect home was found. and became a home for someone else. this went on and on. until we found our lucky 13th floor apartment.
i had envisioned my first house with my husband [this is the first time for us to be living together]. it was beautiful. it had a large white kitchen and an open living area where we would cuddle up on our oversized couch to a good movie after enjoying a delicious homemade dinner and a bottle of merlot in the dining area. there were accents of gold decor and pictures hung on the walls. i had been decorating it in my mind through all our many moves and i could not wait to call it home. our lucky 13th floor apartment, is not quite what i originally had in mind.
to say i was initially bummed is an understatement. after living out of suitcases and sleeping on one bed one night and another the next, the idea of a home was slipping away. but as we started to unpack into our 8th choice apartment, i realized i had it all wrong. i was getting upset over something that i had no control over. instead of choosing to give thanks in all circumstances, i was bitter that i missed out on what i thought was the best apartment for me. ultimately, i wasn’t trusting in God. the apartments that i thought were great are all serving a better purpose as a home for others. and our lucky 13th floor apartment is turning out perfect. as my husband and i ate our favorite home cooked meal then cuddled up to watch 30 rock re-runs [ i never finished the series so we started from the beginning] i realized i’m right where i’m supposed to be. i have a roof over my head and a man whom i love and he loves me right by my side. [sappy alert]. what more could a girl want?
my sweet photog husband shot this outfit in our new courtyard. and y’all this off-the-shoulder tassel top is under $20. yup. under $20. don’t let it get away, sizes are going fast! the summer weather in south korea can be scorching hot with a heavy dose of humidity. this top + denim shorts have been a life saver in keeping me cool. i pair them with flats for a more casual day look and throw on a pair of wedges for a more dressed up evening look.
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