Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Wedding Style

Wow! Bet you didn't expect to hear from me two days in a row, and barely 24 hours apart at that! What can I say, I broke my rule of not drinking during the week and I've been in an exceptionally good mood.

Anyway, Weddington Way recently contacted me and asked me if I would write a post about styling some of their featured dresses for a winter wedding. I happily obliged--after all, I used Weddington Way for my very own wintry nuptials, so I'm basically an expert. Why other agencies haven't contacted me for my expertise, I'll never know.

Here's the deal: Weddington Way is this super awesome service that lets you browse hundreds of different designers, styles, and colors for bridesmaid dresses. You can rank your favorites, then invite your leading ladies to join so they can vote on the dress they will be wearing as you walk down the aisle (and totally wearing again, because you will obviously pick such a versatile dress!).

Winter Wedding Style

dress // Weddington Way; earrings // Kate Spade; wrap // Nordstrom; rings // Topshop; shoes // Nina; clutch // Kate Spade

I picked the Zoe dress in Something Navy to style. I love the one shoulder neckline, and I think the lace adds a nice touch that you don't usually see on a bridesmaid's dress. I also love going with a classic color like navy and pairing it with silver accessories. The colors make me feel like it's a snowy, winter scene, without being too over-the-top, like the colors red and green would be. 

I had the most fun with this post when it came to picking out accessories. I LOVE pretend shopping--it's all the fun of shopping, without the drain on your wallet! I picked some jewelry that I like to refer to as "subtle glam"--not too flashy, but elegant enough for a special event like a wedding, like these earrings from Kate Spade and these stackable Topshop rings. I actually am kind of in love with these rings, and might just have to buy them and wear them all day, every day. 

I picked a pair of Nina shoes, because let me tell you--Nina is the BEST brand for wedding shoes. They have lots of different styles and colors to choose from, so you can go with a classic color like silver, or mix it up and go purple (not with this dress, I just say that because I actually had the above shoes in purple as my wedding shoes). You can find them at Nordstrom and at Zappos...probably other places too, but those are two of my favorite online retailers. 

I threw a wrap in there, because it's winter and all, but once you hit the dance floor, who needs it? And lastly, a girl's gotta have a place to keep her phone and lipstick--I absolutely adore this clutch from Kate Spade. It's more than I would ever pay for a clutch, but a girl can dream, right? I felt like the whole ensemble could use some multicolored glitter to spice things up, and this is perfect. It's not like you carry your clutch when you walk down the aisle, so no worries about outshining the bride, or not matching the others. 

So friends, what do you think of my ensemble? Oh, and in case you were wondering, we went with a purple, a-line, v-neck dress with a bow in the center. I don't think it's still available, but here's how my ladies looked: (gorgeous, duh)

And if you're interested in other winter wedding type posts, you can check out more details on our wedding here. Not to brag or be biased or whatever, but our wedding was beautiful and awesome and probably the best ever.

**Just want to add that I didn't receive any compensation or products from Weddington Way in exchange for this post--I really enjoyed my experience using Weddington Way, and I want to share that!**

All Love,

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Treat Yo Self 2017

FRIENDS. Stop everything you are doing right now and listen. Tonight is the night we treat ourselves...two years into the future.

via Retta's instagram. If you aren't following, you need to.

As you may know, Parks and Rec is airing for its final season (cue emotional sobbing). One of my absolute favorite episodes of all time is when Donna and Tom (Retta and Aziz Ansari) hold an annual Treat Yo Self day.

What is Treat Yo Self? It's basically a day to indulge in all the fancy/expensive things, and not even care. Why? BECAUSE TREAT YO SELF, THAT'S WHY!!

I take it very seriously. It inspired this post and many others, and my life motto is basically, "when in doubt, treat yo self."

This month has been downright horrendous, and seeing the teaser pictures on Insta have just reminded me have two things:
  1. This show is the best and I will probably fall into a deep, dark depression when it is over, and
  2. I have been in a rut, and the only way to get out of that rut is to (you guessed it) TREAT. YO. SELF. 
You all know what I'll be doing tonight--watching Donna and Tom treat themselves one last time, with a big ol' glass of wine in hand. 

All Love,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Loudoun Love: Quattro Goomba

Hello, all my dear friends! I'm going to go ahead and say this once and only once: I'm sorry for the sporadic blogging. I've read conflicting views on this sort of thing--should you apologize when it's your blog, you need to be consistent with your blog, and blah blah blah. Here's the thing, I absolutely love writing, and I love sharing these blog posts with the world. However, there are times when I just can't find the energy to do a thing. These past few weeks have been really overwhelming at work, and I've basically tried to use every second of my time off to just let my mind rest. Luckily, we just had a great three day weekend, and while I think I might be getting a nasty cold, I still had a great weekend and it helped lessen the constant knot of anxiety I have been feeling lately.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry I don't blog consistently and I hope we can still be friends.

Anyway, this past Saturday, we spent a much needed day at a few of the Loudoun wineries. As you may recall, hitting up every single winery in Loudoun is on my 30 Before 30 List. This time, we made it to two: Quattro Goomba and Stone Tower. I've been to Stone Tower before (one of my favorites), so today I'm going to tell you all about the magic that is Quattro Goomba.

Basically, you only need to know two things about Quattro Goomba: french bread pizza and wine slushies. Do you really need to know anything else?

Quattro is a little bit different from some of the other wineries--they are basically a micro-winery, and they import their grapes from other places. Quite a few of the other places in Loudoun are either growing their own grapes, or working on growing their own grapes, so I was a little surprised that this one was so different. However, the wines were all delicious. My favorite was the Tradizione, which has a hint of bourbon to it--yes, bourbon. It was amazing.

Also, do you recall the words "wine slushies?" Yes, you sure did. Frozen sangria is probably in my list of my top ten favorite all time things, and I can't wait for the weather to get warm so I can park myself on their patio and order several carafes of this sweet, sweet nectar.

Lastly, here is a beautiful picture of Stone Tower Winery during the sumer. Let's all close our eyes and fervently wish for Winter to hurry up and get over itself.

All Love,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fashion Advice for my Future Daughter

Friends, as much as I may try to pretend to be a fashionista, I'm no style expert. Sure, I may be able to put together a snazzy outfit every now and then, but I'm no style blogger that can get 3,000 likes on an instagram photo that is just a picture of my shoes. Despite this flaw, I hope that one day, I will have a daughter, and that daughter will turn to me for fashion advice. Even though I know it will be short lived, since she will eventually stop asking me for help and will instead start sneaking out the window so I don't see what she's wearing, I will still hope and dream that I will be here number one fashion icon. Here are a few tips I've already got up my sleeve:

1. If you're anything like your mother, you won't be able to resist the glittering allure of a sequined number. Just remember that sequins are painfully scratchy--stick to a sequined skirt and you'll get all the glamour without all the blood.

Long sleeves also protect your arms from unsightly scratches. 
2. A good-lookin' headband can take your look from "I didn't wash my hair" straight to "I'm Blair Waldorf and I'm here to take over the world" in an instant.

3. You can never have too many pairs of pants with elastic waistbands.

4. Speaking of pants, please make sure you always have a pair of the following: pink pants, dress pants with an elastic waistband, black leggings, sweatpants, and one pair of jeans that you have basically lived in for the past three years.

5. Don't be duped into silly fashion trends. "Drapey pants" is a fancier way to say "eatin' pants," and do not let J. Crew trick you into paying $115 for sweatpants.

6. Try not to stress out too much over having all the shoes, but make sure you have at least one pair that makes you feel truly glamorous. And remember, mixing bourbon-laced milkshakes with suede boots is never a good idea. (Also, if you're consuming bourbon anything, it better be because you are over 21.)

7. Make sure you own at least one tacky Christmas sweatshirt.

Look at your mom and dad, all young and hot! Don't be embarrassed. 
8. There will be one color out there that will light up your face and make you feel fabulous like no other. Buy all the clothes you want in that color and don't let anyone tell you to stop.

9. Be weird. Experiment. (Experiment with fashion only, no other experiments allowed, thank you very much.) It's the only way you will figure out your own true style, without feeling like a copycat of everyone else. And if people make fun of you, just ignore them--they're just jealous you were mixing prints way before it was popular.

10. You will want to own at least one pair of aviators. Just trust me on this one.

You see? Total badassery. But don't use that sort of language, okay?
11. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't leave the house without "putting your face on." Some days, makeup is just too much work, and that's okay. Not to mention, as I am sure I've told you many times by now, your natural beauty is all you need.

12. Fashion trends come and go. If you don't feel like wrapping a blanket around your neck and calling it a scarf, then don't. You do you--your confidence is really the only style you need.

This is just a beginner's guide--as I continue to amass copious amounts of fashion wisdom, I'm sure I will have much more to share with my children in the future.

What kind of fashion tips do you have for the kids?

All Love,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Music Monday, V. 21

One of the things I missed most about blogging was introducing all my lovely readers to new music. I knew you rely on me as your #1 music expert (and don't tell me anything otherwise), so I can't imagine what a struggle it was without me to supplying you with a hip music playlist. Fear not, dear reader! That time is over. Not only am I bringing you a new playlist today, but I'm going to clue you in on some artists I think will be big in 2015.

- Fitz and the Tantrums
In 2014, "The Walker" brought Fitz and the Tantrums some well deserved recognition. If you haven't heard "Fool's Gold," yet, hear it today and be amazed. Okay, maybe "amazed" is a strong word, but I promise you will love it.

- Night Terrors of 1927
I've been waiting for this band to have their time in the spotlight since the end of 2012. Recently, they released a collaboration with Tegan and Sara, and it was one of my favorite songs in 2014.

- Bleachers
Okay, so maybe Bleachers had a great run in 2014, but I am still obsessive over their debut album, Strange Desire. It makes me feel like I'm in the middle of an '80s love story, in a good way. I heard that Fun. is getting ready to do another album, so that might mean Bleachers will take a break, but I sincerely hope they don't go away forever.

- Hozier
"Take me to Church" was released months ago, but I'm still all over that song and I can't get enough of it. I think 2015 will continue to see great work from this band.

- Vance Joy
Once I heard "Riptide" sometime back in early 2014, I knew I had found another music true love. I love Vance Joy's sound, and now that he is opening for Tay Tay on her tour, I know that 2015 will be another great year for him. I am SO PSYCHED to see him in July!

- Ingrid Michaelson
You know I'm rarely able to put together a music playlist without mentioning Ingrid. She is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite artist, ever since I heard "Keep Breathing" on Grey's back in 2007, and felt like she was speaking to my soul. Ingrid's latest album, Lights Out, was released in the spring of 2014 and her single "Girls Chase Boys" got quite a bit of airplay. I will keep pushing Ingrid's music for as long as I have a blog, and then some!

There you have it, friends--my top music recommendations for 2015. This list won't cover all the great music that is sure to come this year, so fear not, I will continue to post Music Monday lists with the latest and greatest that should be filling your ears.

 All Love,

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: Be Bold

Happy New Year, friends! 2014 was another great year with family, friends, sweet little Millie, and the love of my life. However, there were a few stressful situations that I don't wish to repeat, and hopefully those things will get cleared up within the first few months of the new year.

I'm not one for resolutions--I've found that the more I make, the more I break. Despite that little fact, I decided to go ahead and do what bloggers do and post my own list. The key to a good list of New Year's resolutions is to be bold--you know, keep your expectations low, and you'll avoid the crushing weight of disappointment.

1. Eat more pizza.
I know I should probably be creating a Pinterest board of healthy foods that can be thrown in the crockpot, but all thats on my mind this month is "why can't Joe's institute a customer loyalty program?"

2. Try a new wine.
I'll admit it--I've been in a rut lately. I just can't stop drinking the same $6 cab sauv from Wegman's. I think it's time I live a little and grab a $6 pinot noir.

3. Floss more
I know, I know--I said I would keep my expectations low. But I'm not talking flossing every day--good grief! Who can live up to such high standards?! I'm thinking if I can get to it maybe three times a week, I'll be golden.

4. Throw a Mardi Gras party
I've got a sparkly tutu and a hurricane mix from Pat O's--it's got to be put to good use.

5. Go to the gym sometimes
Not to be confused with "going to the gym all the time," which can be quite daunting.

6. Take a trip
I'm leaving this one a little open ended. It could mean take a trip to the west coast, take a trip to Harry Potter World, or, take a trip to the grocery store. I'd be totally cool with any of these options.

7. Spend as much time as possible playing the Gang's All Here game
Now this is one resolution I can really get behind!

In all seriousness friends, this is the year I'm not going to tie myself down with lists and expectations. I spend too much time staying stressed, and not enough time enjoying the life I have. This year, that must change.

How will you be bold in 2015?

All Love,

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