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!
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!! email@example.com
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:)
some days i find myself moving at 100 mph and on my busiest days i just want to be comfortable. i’ve come to realize lounge sweats aren’t appropriate for meetings [major bummer] so i’m always on the hunt for the next best. this look is great for running errands and attending casual meetings or hang outs with friends. swap out the distressed jeans with a nice black pair, and the shoes for a pair of heels and this look becomes office casual [for those of you with relaxed dress code rules.]
i’ve become slightly obsessed with these jeans that are incredibly comfortable and fit like a glove. they’ve easily moved up to my favorite pair. i’m actually real excited to pair them once it warms up outside! ripped jeans were my favorite thing back in my middle school abercrombie days. the part of me that still has a tight grip around my youth was elated when they started popping back up again! i can do without the scarves that turn into tube tops, seatbelt belt buckles and the over use of glitter as makeup. anyone else remember those days? oh to be a kid again!
i am such a sucker for puppies [i may call all dogs puppies ] and these pups stole the show! there were actually three but they were taking turns jumping in and out of the water and playing tug-o-war with me and sticks. i got a couple of scrapes and wet slobbers but puppy play time is always a fun time. seriously, dogs really are man’s [and woman’s] best friend. their joy is contagious!
i [thankfully] was shooting in a comfy marine layer dress that allowed me to move [i did a lot of running around with these guys] freely. the length is perfect so there are no accidental peek-a-boos if you catch my drift..
texas does season’s it’s own [can you expect anything less from texas?] so fall consists of temps from 97 [just a few weeks ago!] to low 70s. dresses and booties are my go-to because why not? it’s easy, comfy and looks great. these booties were a major mossimo target steal and i’ve worn them just about every chance i get. they also worked great trekking through the fields playing with these pups [seriously.. no blisters, can’t complain!]
i ran around with these guys and chatted up a storm with the amazing beccaeggerphotography. sometimes i get so caught in my busy days that i forget to just take a moment and enjoy it for what it is. most moments are spent thinking about the next moment and moments weeks into the future. it’s always a good reminder and when a moment like this comes along, you gotta just enjoy.
one look, three ways. fall is all about layering and the best part about layering is you can re-wear pieces and have an entirely new outfit every time. and well, clothes are for wearing. so if you can get multiple outfits out of one piece, you’ve succeeded.
i’m wearing the same basics, a sweater and black ripped jeans in all three looks. the first look is black on black [one of my favorite combos] with a standout bag for a little pop. i changed the look by simply adding a vest [which is crazy comfy and on sale, no code needed]. the third differs with a little beanie action because i really love wearing beanies and let’s face it, texas just does not give us enough beanie-wearing months. it was actually in the high 70’s on this day so not exactly beanie weather, but i’m a texan. i’ll work with it.
i wore the same accessories for all three looks. this watch is on sale with code ‘jasmineelias’ at checkout until november 30th. it’s classic and timeless [a little watch humor, hah!] and has easily become one of my favorite accessories.
with fall in full swing and winter right around the corner, this is a great time to go through your clothes and donate those sweaters and scarves you don’t wear anymore. if you aren’t going to wear them, remember.. there’s always someone that will! and someone that may need them. it’s important to always lend a helping hand when you can, or in this case… a helping sweater 🙂
finding a location to donate your goods is easy. check your local school for clothing drives or find the nearby goodwill. i’d be happy help you find a place if you need one. just ask!