Thursday, September 21, 2017

Five things.

It's been a while. I tell myself everyday to sit down and write up a blog post. But let's be honest, like everyone in the creative world, I go through times I feel super inspired and others when I feel like nothing has inspired me. Well finally, this past week, I found some inspiration. I stumbled upon Emily Schuman's blog series called, "Five Things" (here) which reminded me of my old blog series called, "Friday's Five Fab Favorites". Emily basically shares five things, whether it's a recipe, a new local coffee shop, a favorite purchase, a weekend trip...anything that really catches her eye! I'm adding this back into my blog because if I'm inspired by it, I'm sure someone else will be too! Let me know your thoughts! 

1. The perfect tray for entertaining or fall/winter decor! I love gold and marble together. Can you see this tray with an orange juice carafe, champagne and tiny bowls with toppings!? #minimimosatray I am so excited for all the possibilities!!! Target (here)


2.  I've been wanting to get all my pups stuff (follow along @allthingspandp to check her out!!) organized, it's everywhere! I found these super cute baskets on H&M online (here)and they're the perfect size for all her goods! 


3. Don't you want your house to smell like freshly baked homemade oatmeal cookies without even having to bake!? This candle (here). Oh my.  

4. This "mini" steamer by Joy Mangano. My mom has had one for years now and I just jumped on the bandwagon. It's great for traveling and you don't have to worry about an iron board.



5. This jumbo poptart recipe (here). I made it past weekend and it was gone in a matter of minutes. Every bite you take he raspberry jam just oozes out the sides..need I saw more!?


Let me know if you'd like to see more of these "Five Things" posts!
Thanks for stopping by! 
xx 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nashin'

Two weeks ago, I went to Nashville for my best friends Bachelorette (Nashelorette). It was an extended weekend trip, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was honestly the perfect amount of time! In this post, I'm compiling our trip and calling it, "things you must see". 

For me it's the South, anything about the South, I love it. Nashville/Music City/Nashvegas whatever you wanna call it, it's amazing. The music is truly breathtaking, it's like listening to your very own country concert. The whole time your listening you forget your just in some local Nashville bar. I think honestly, even if you aren't into country music, you'd enjoy this town. The combination of the lights, the music, the amazing food, cute boutiques, rooftop bars all create this beautiful ambience, day or night. 

Kelsey Montague "What Lifts You" Mural: 
Located in "The Gulch"

This beautiful 20 foot high mural took 60 paint pens to create. Kelsey's goal for this piece was to invite people into her piece and then invite people to share their experience. If you look closely at the wings, you'll see guitars, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, the Nashville bridge and plenty of other intricate designs. There is also a smaller version for babies, dogs, or more shameless selfies. 


Draper James: 
Located on "12 South" 

Y'all, this is just the sweetest store ever....literally as soon as you walk through the doors they proceed with, "howdy y'all, would you like some sweet tea?". I love it. The shop just screams Southern Belle from the baby blue and white gingham stripes to the red and white BBQ style dresses. If you're a marketing guru like me, you'll adore this timeless southern style shop. 



The Southern: 
Located on "3rd Ave"

Brunch. For starters, you'll get biscuits with jam, biscuits with gravy...so automatically, I'm in. This restaurant features influences from the Gulf Coast to the Caribbean and from Nova Scotia to North Carolina. They offer a large dining area for big groups and serve a delicious blood orange mimosa. I highly recommend, "The Highway" which is a fried chicken on a Belgian waffle drizzled with maple syrup. Drool. 


The Parthenon:
Located in "Centennial Park" 

The Parthenon in Nashville is a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It took Nashville 10 years to build this and it is now a working museum and huge tourist attraction. Ps. if you scroll below to check out the Party Porch tour bus, this is one of your stops...so you can check that off the list...a two for one deal! 


I Believe in Nashville Mural:
Located on "12 South" 
Street Artist, Adrien Saporiti created this, "I believe in Nashville" mural. This has become another "Instagram famous" wall art to visit. This is literally right around the corner from Draper James! 


Amelia's Flower Truck:
Located at "White Mercantile, The Gulch or Dose Coffee"

Amelia's is a mobile flower shop with three different trucks (Amy, Rory and Melody). Amelia's started when Mattie (not Amelia) started traveling to big cities like New York, London, Paris and Milan. She noticed that buying flowers was so accessible in these cities and thought Nashville needed the same concept. You can either buy flowers directly from the truck or have them delivered to you. 


Dozen Bakery:
Located in "Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood" 

We were wondering around looking for this place in an industrial park thinking, "ok this is a little sketchy." We turned the corner and this cute little place came out of nowhere, and it was delicious. Lesson here, don't judge a book by it's cover. The dozen bakery started as a holiday cookie pop-up shop and turned into a full service cafe and bakery. Seriously, the best chocolate chip cookies I think I've ever had. Try the baguette with homemade jam and butter. 



Five Daughters Bakery: 
Located on "12 South" 

My mom and I try to buy a cupcake everywhere we go, so I wanted to bring her back one from Nashville. Five Daughters Bakery was located on 12 South about a mile from Draper James. To my surprise, it was just donuts....which is absolutely fine with me. However, these donuts were not just plain ole' donuts...they're 100 layer donuts. They take four days to make and two of these babies weigh about the same as 10 glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. I brought one home to my mom and we shared it (she wasn't happy about it). The donut practically melts in your mouth, it's magical. 



Party Porch:
Located off "Broadway"

Worth every penny. This party bus played everything from early 2000 hip hop, to some OG 90's music. Y'all, just stop at the liquor store before and the bus will provide water, ice and mixers for your alcohol. In the end, every single person will be dancing. It's a two hour bus trip around Nashville, so not only are you getting your drink on but your able to be a tourist as well....best of both worlds.


Blue Monkey Shaved Ice:
Nashville is hot. I'm talking boob sweat (ladies, we've all been there), makeup running, deodorant just isn't enough, hot. This mobile shaved ice truck has the hook up. 


The "Stops along the way:
I call these the "stops along the way" because most likely, you'll come across them throughout your journeys to the stops above. 

Petal Flower Cart-the sweetest happiest flower shop on wheels 
King of Pops-traveling popsicle cart
ACME Feed & Seed-food, cocktails, live music, shop & rooftop bar 
Coyote Ugly-just go...you'll see what I mean after. 
FGL House-the Florida Georgia Line...go for the downstairs "club" scene at night







Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DIY Wedding Signs


 I grew up crafting, my mom is the "Queen B" of crafting...way before Pinterest ever came about! All the teachers wanted, "Mrs. Michelle" in their classroom as the classroom parent...Needless to say, I inherited this trait of hers. Honestly, it's a blessing and a curse! I'm constantly volunteering myself to help out and always end up with my hands full. My mother does the exact same thing...like mother like daughter (insert eye roll emoji here). Other times, it's a blessing...I end up saving myself some money in the long run and always have fun doing it. 

I'm getting married in April of next year and plan on doing several DIY projects to save me some money. I recruited my hunk of a fiancé to help me out and plan on blogging the whole process. These wedding signs are perfect for the signs that hang on the back of your sweetheart chairs, menus or reserved signs for the tables or ceremony chairs. With a little practice, anyone can do this!

What you'll need: 
1x1 Plywood 
Measuring Tape
Pencil
Sharpie Paint Marker
Bistro Chalk Marker
Woodsaw
Paint Brush 
Wood Stain
Krylon Crystal Clear Spray paint
Hand Sander 
Drill 
Ribbon 

First things first, mark your measurements on your piece of wood. For the Better and Together (Mr. & Mrs.) signs I wanted the pieces to be 11 x 14 because that's the size of the our sweetheart chairs. For the reserved signs, I wanted the pieces to be 12 x 15. From that point, I had Rj (the handsome fiancé) cut the pieces and sand them down. 



I stained each piece, waited until they dried and then stained the back. I used Weathered Oak (270) first and then added a little Special Walnut (224) in the end. I waited 24 hours for these to dry before doing anything to them. 



I freehanded this but I would recommend starting out with pencil to outline the letters. I would then trace over them with a Bistro Chalk Marker and top that off with the Sharpie marker..... if you have any mistakes, fix them with a magic eraser before putting the Sharpie paint marker on top. I then sprayed a coat of clear finish on each piece, front and back. I let them dry for 24 hours and then drilled the holes for the ribbon.











Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Taco Bout A Pawty

Cali girl loves to accessorize, especially when it involves cute bandanas! 

Caroline, from Waggin' Tails Company makes the absolute cutest designs for your fluffy four-legged family member. Waggin' Tails has a large selection of colors/patterns and also carries bow ties! Caroline started her business with a vision to make dogs even cuter than they already are....thanks to her Golden Retriever, Holden (known as @Holden the Golden) she's been in business since early 2017. Her mission is to create custom, durable and high-quality bandanas that spread happiness to dogs and their humans....and she does just that! 







Were also loving these.....


**If your worried about these bandanas getting dirty, they can be machine washed in cold water and
                                                 then set out to dry or put on tumble dry low.** 



 Check out her social media links here:
                                                                          Email: here
Instagram: here
Dogs Instagram: here
Facebook: here
Website: here

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I said YES to the dress.

I said YES to the dress!! To be honest, it was easy! I saw the dress on and knew it was the right one. I came out to the show room where my mom, grandmother and aunt were all waiting. They all started crying as I twirled around in this beautiful gown....what an magical moment.

Although, it was perfect, I knew the right thing to do was try on a few more just to be sure. I tried on 10 different styled dresses including a princess gown, a beige colored dress, a-line, boho, corset style, sweetheart, lace, straps, no straps, back, open back, long train, short train. Overall, here's what I learned....take shallow breathes because breathing in your wedding dress is completely overrated....and wear lots of deodorant...those dresses are hot!! All jokes aside, this should be an amazing Disney princess-like experience and Love Couture Bridal truly made this happen for me. Linda was my bridal sales consultant and she was wonderful. I told her my style and my budget and she stuck to both! I never felt like I was just another "sale" or that she was trying to push me above my budget. 

In the end, I tried the first dress back on after thinking the other dresses were just, "ok". Linda proceeded with, "are you saying yes to the dress?". I confidently smiled in the mirror and said, "I'm saying YES to the dress". 

If you live in the Maryland/Delaware/Virginia/DC area, stop in to Love Couture Bridal for an experience you will never forget. Check their socials out below!
Instagram: (here) Facebook: (here) Website: (here)













What to do after wedding dress shopping....eat all the donuts....because you know that this is the end-all of eating junk food.














Thursday, May 11, 2017

Engagement Pictures Tips & Tricks

Rj and I just did our engagement pictures a few weeks ago and even though it rained the entire day, our pictures turned out beautiful. Our photographer, Manda Weaver was amazing and we couldn't have dreamt of a better photoshoot. Manda did an entire post on the photo shoot over on her blog, so go check that out (here) and show her some support on Instagram (here). Instead of duplicating the work she has done so beautifully over on her blog, I'm going to share tips and tricks on how to prepare for your engagement photos!


Tips:
-Get your nails done or do your own at-home mani/pedi
-Get your ring cleaned beforehand, the photographer will want some up close and personal shots
-Decide on how many outfits you'd like to wear: we did one more "formal" outfit which required some cute pumps and Rj to wear a nice dress jacket and we followed this with a more "relaxed" outfit which required a long flow dress and Rj to wear a beauty linen shirt
-Use this photo below (Courtesy of Melody Coarsey Photography (here)) to show you which colors compliment each other for photo sessions 
-I brought a bag with a mini sewing kit, a tide to go pen (honestly, this is an everyday staple for me) and wrinkle releaser spray  
-Some people like to get a spray tan beforehand, I prefer my St. Tropez One Night Only self tanner (here)


 Makeup Tips: 
-I recommend using a photo primer such as the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (here)
-When choosing a foundation, look for one without SPF, the
SPF will cause a ghost-like flashback 
-Highlighting and contouring are great for photography just don't go overboard 
-Be careful using too much shimmer on your cheeks or eyes 
-Lashes and lipstick are strongly encouraged (if this is your thing) 
-Bring makeup to touch-up such as blush, translucent power (here), setting spray (here) and lipstick



  ***Most of all, have fun and be yourselves!
This is a once in a lifetime gig and you'll want your pictures to reflect that!***




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bridesmaid Proposal.



I've been patiently waiting for the right time to post this and it's been killing me! I had been preparing these boxes for a little over two months and it all started with the beautiful boxes from Sugar Paper La. Those boxes inspired the entire box of goodies inside. I wanted these boxes to reflect my style....and attention to detail was number one on my list. Packaging is everything for me. 

You know that classic saying, "Diamonds are a girls best friend" well for me, it's candy.....and Chick Fil A. Lolli and Pops has everything to satisfy my "kid at heart" personality, so I knew this was first on my list. Champagne gummy bears, need I see more? I used tiny 70 mm x 60mm self-adhesive cellophane bags to separate the jar of gummies and a mini gold heart sticker to add an extra touch. 





I researched wedding bobby pins everywhere and all I found were fancy bobby pins ranging from $60-$100. I wasn't in the market to spend this kind of money on something that could possibly slip out of their hair and may only get worn once. Therefore, I went to Forever 21 and "invested" in these instead. I thought these would be perfect for the theme I'm going for. I dressed up the packaging using white card stock and a Martha Stewart hole punch. 



For this, I recruited the fiancé and I have to say he did an amazing job. It was even his idea to use the dried flowers, I couldn't believe it. I found these test tubes at Michaels for $1.50 a piece and took some epsom salt, pink Himalayan salt and dried roses to create this bath salt soak. I then shredded some white ribbon and tied it to each test tube.



This was one of my favorite pieces of the box. I needed these hair ties to complete the look and Emma did such an amazing job creating them for me. 

I love supporting small businesses; especially Etsy shops…creative entrepreneurs are my favorite! I had the pleasure of collaborating with Emma from Etsy shop Emmaflhair and I was jumping up and down about it. Honestly, where do I begin with this shop…..Emma truly has an eye for detail when it comes to her hair ties. Emma started Emmaflhair back in 2010 when she wanted a change of pace from the corporate world. Now, her shop is published on the Glamour website and she sells her items at retailers all over the United States. She also carries party signs, grab bags, bachelorette party survival kits, hair combs, personalizied bags, stickers and even champagne gummy bears! They’re over 415 different colors and patterns and so many ways to customize each listing. She is extremely helpful and quick to respond, I always recommend her work! Emma has a Spring discount running right now until the end of April, where if you spend $25 you'll get 10 free hair ties with your order. Check out her links for, Facebook Insta and Etsy and show her some support!



These light pink Essie nail polishes in "Tying the Knotie" are not only adorable but the girls now have a color to wear for the big day! I bought these in bulk off of Ebay, making sure I found a reputable seller with lots of positive feedback/reviews. A lot of the wholesale sellers on Ebay are from different countries and can easily scam you so be very careful when you're looking into buying in bulk. Read every review and contact the seller to see what type of response you receive (whether its automated or not). 



Lastly, the cards. I splurged a little on the cards because I knew these were cards that would be kept in keepsake forever. Most of the time I'll do Tj Max cards because you can't beat $1.99, but I wanted this to be a little more unique and intimate. The Matron of Honor cards are from at Etsy seller, Fairmontandgrove (here) who sells absolutely amazing material. The "will you be my bridesmaid" cards come in a pack of ten from Kate Spade (here). 





Assembling the boxes is the best part! I love using crinkle paper as a filler, I got 2 bags of it on Amazon (here). 






My two "Junior" Bridesmaids receiving their boxes, they were ecstatic!