Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Rehearsal Dinner

::Dress Anthropologie (similar versions listed below, this one is sadly sold out), Shoes ZARA (flat version here from Topshop and striped yellow heels from DSW for a great price!) Clutch c/o Gigi New York,   Necklace J.Crew, Bracelets C.Wonder, David Yurman::

As I said yesterday, we were back in Ohio for the weekend at a wedding. I searched high and low for a rehearsal dress and spotted this one at Anthropologie on the sale rack. Seeing that it was the only one, I obviously had little hope, but amazingly, it was just the right size and just the right price (that never happens!). It sadly has sold out, but I linked some similar options below (sale and regular priced).

We didn’t get to visit with family while home, but seeing our friends was wonderful. Now that the festivities are over, I sadly don’t have any more trips planned back home, so I will have to remedy that soon! 

Happy Tuesday y'all, as always thank you for reading!

Monday, July 28, 2014

#nsale Home Picks

Hey all, yesterday we drove back from Ohio after celebrating two of our dear friends' wedding. Aaron and I were both in the wedding and so were many of our college friends, so of course, it was so much fun and we were sad to return to "real life" today. The wedding was beautiful and went on without a hitch, so that's always good news! I did a lot of my girlfriends hair for the wedding, which Ill be sharing soon, but for now, I wanted to share some of my favorite Nordstrom Home picks with y'all! I love getting new towels, sheets, etc, but I hate paying $$$$ for them, so when great quality items go on sale, I am always up for scooping them up! I plan to get some sheets and other necessities ,but I am also coveting an all white bedding set- but my husband might kill me since ours was a wedding gift and is still gorgeous from Pottery Barn!

Can I also say how adorable that nightstand is? Swoon. The mirror....ugh- basically this is my home decor wish list. Have you bought anything from the home section of the sale?

FYI, I shared some of my favorite accessories and clothing items here and I plan to share my favorite beauty items later this week, so stay tuned! Make sure to act fast, items are selling out and prices go up August 4th!

Have a great Monday y'all! Thank you for reading as usual! You can shop my items below. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Housewarming Party

Last Saturday, Aaron and I hosted our first “official” party. We’ve had people over before, and I’ve hosted showers and things for friends at other people’s houses, but this was a first for the two of us and the first official gathering in our new house. I am no expert at all, but I thought I would share a few tips with each of you for hosting a housewarming, or any sort of gathering. I am co-hosting some showers this coming fall for some special friends here in Durham, and I’m looking forward to them going smoother just from having a little more experience!

Below are some photos of the set up I arranged, but of course in the fury, I didn’t photograph the dessert set up or the bar set up! Oh well- hopefully you enjoy the appetizer set up, because that’s all I really snapped!

1. Make a budget. I for one am BAD at this, my husband will tell you. However, making a budget helps you keep track of what you’re spending. Enough said. You can throw together a great party with minimal money, just plan ahead!

2. Send invitations. A legit party should have an invitation. People are more likely to RSVP, come and remember if you take the time to properly invite them. We did a paper invite with postage, but there are so many great and inexpensive ways to send them out now through email (here and here), Facebook and whatnot. Putting an actual date out there as opposed to a phone call or text message just makes things a little more official.

3. Prep in advance- if you can. I cut up everything, put it in little canisters for easy storage, went to the grocery, cleaned, etc all before the actual party. This helped the day of anxiety and made me feel less flustered. I know with jobs, errands, etc. this makes it difficult, but it’s easier if you can try. For example, I broke up my grocery list and the week before grabbed a few things like beverages and buns that I knew could sit in the laundry room until the party. It helped cut down the week of costs and also helped with pre party prep.  

4. Send thank you’s. If you’re hosting a house warming party like we were, it’s nice to send thank you’s to those that brought small gifts. My adorable and creative friend Hope, made us such an adorable basket of goodies. That mug is a sketch of our house, I love it! So many people brought us wonderful bottles of champagne, wine and other goodies which are all so much appreciated! Which brings me to my next tip- take note if you're able to of who brought what!

5. It’s better to have too much than too little. Some people wont RSVP and some will. It’s okay to follow up with people, but obviously people’s plans change and so do the circumstances. I took the number of people that didn’t RSVP and accounted for about ½ of them to show up- therefore, I had food for an extra 5 people. Some people may be in the mindset that once it’s gone, it’s gone- but I always like people to leave with their bellies full- just a personal thing.

5. Most importantly, take time to enjoy it. Just like our wedding, I was running around like a crazy person. I didn’t have one appetizer or even a proper meal which made for a not feeling great evening. I definitely believe in making sure people’s drinks are full and dirty dishes are put away, but don’t be too frantic about it. Take some time out and enjoy it, engage in a conversation that lasts longer than 3 minutes. If you’re at ease, chances are your guests will be too!

Just some small tips, I hope they help! We were so overcome with the kind words from friends about our little fixer upper house. While there is so much more work to be done, we were so thankful to hear the encouraging words about it. Also, we feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful people in only a year’s time and are so thankful for those who took the time to stop by!

Have a great weekend all! One of my best friends is getting Married tomorrow, so cheers to them!  can't wait to celebrate with all of our college favorites!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gingham Style

I have to confess that every time I hear the word gingham, I think of Gangnam Style and feel like breaking out into dance. We played that song at our wedding reception and it was hilarious. I can’t believe that song came out almost TWO years ago. Where is the time going?!?!?

On another note, can we talk about this dress? As the temperatures get hotter and hotter here in North Carolina, I keep thinking- “dress light, but dress cute.” I love gingham, it’s so fun, playful and flirty- but sadly I don’t own many pieces of it. Stripes I have a whole closet of, but gingham, I need to work on!

Do you own gingham? 

Thanks for reading all! xoxo

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blowing Bubbles

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
::Tee J.Crew (major sale, here), Bag Kate Spade (here), Jeans Nordstrom (here), Shoes C.Wonder (here, major sale), Hat my Alma Mater (similar JCrew version here, here), Bracelet David Yurman, Jcrew (from a sweet friend), C.Wonder, Lipstick MAC Ruby Woo, Necklace Mindy Maes Market, Personalized Necklaces::

Something about going to the baseball game makes me think about chewing gum, hot dogs and baseball hats (duh). Durham doesn't have a professional baseball team, but they do have a Triple A team with a great stadium and a fun crowd- we headed there Monday night to watch the Durham Bulls game with some of my husband's colleagues. It was so muggy, but I still wanted to dress the part of a baseball fan, so I threw on my hat and baseball tee and we headed to Walmart to purchase bottled water and bubble gum. Apparently, Juicy Fruit chewing gum is stepping up its game because right in front of Walmart where we stopped was a big fruit chews display as well as bubble gum (the kind perfect for blowing bubbles). Yum! Aaron and I later had a bubble blowing contest in the stadium and he told me I'm not very good (see below)- however, considering he didn't let me snap a picture of him blowing bubbles, I think I am the clear winner!

Luckily, upon arrival, we were in covered seating and there was a nice breeze, so although it was thick out (as it has been the last two weeks), it wasn't terribly bad and the Bulls won which is always fun! 

Are you a good bubble gum bubble blower? I always wondered if there really was an art form to it!

Make sure to attend one of the Juicy Fruit demos at Walmart stores across the country on July 25 and August 1-3!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stop and Smell the Flowers

 ::Dress c/o ShopRiffRaff (here), Bag Michael Kors (similar here), Shoes Jack Rogers (similar here), Hat Old Navy (similar here), Jewelry David Yurman, Forever21, J.Crew, Stella and Dot, Belt (old, similar here or here for 20.00)

This was another look I wore a week ago in Charlotte walking around with gal pals. These flowers were gorgeous and seemed like the perfect place to snap some photos before stuffing our faces with the most delicious crepes. In all honesty, I had never had a crepe (or at least that I can remember). I went for a western type one, but we all split a s’mores crepe. I mean, what’s a little ice cream and chocolate at 10am?

Anywho, this dress is another Shop Riffraff number. I love their items for their sheer versatility. I can also imagine dressing this little number up with some heels and fun jewelry—but this look was perfect for walking around downtown and just chatting along the way. I am so thankful I have met so many amazing girls here in Durham to call friends.

I linked some similar styles below, but I suggest popping over to Shop RiffRaff and checking out the real thing! It also comes in mint!

Thanks for reading all! Have a great day!

Bar Cart Styling

 Previously I had shown you how I styled the bar cart in our loft (here). Now that we are living in a house, I thought it would be fun to show you how I’ve tweaked it a bit. I love the idea of displaying some bar type items, especially when having company over. When Jose Cuervo sent me this Teagarita package, I was thrilled because everything tied into my bar car styling from the mason jar glasses, to the adorable striped straws (which I always keep handy). We keep regular Jose Cuervo tequila on our cart, but what I love about the Teagarita is that it’s a delicious twist on the classic lime flavored margarita, blended with Jose Cuervo Tequila and orange liqueur, then combined with refreshing iced tea which makes for an easy ready to serve over ice cocktail.

When assembling a bar cart for hosting or even for everyday purposes, here are some tips I think are helpful:

  1. Have am array of different types of liquors. You never know what someone will ask for, so it’s good to have the essentials on hand and a few mixers.
  2. Also keep easy to pour drinks on hand such as Teagarita. These make for quick and delicious cocktails which can be poured over ice, garnished and served.
  3. Add some visual appeal. Flowers, cute straws, trays and books make the cart or table appear visually pleasing as opposed to just placing a bunch of alcohol out and about.
  4. Layer and arrangement make a difference. Again, trays help create perfect layers. Use the full width of your area to create a layered look.
  5. Keep garnishes on hand. I usually have a lemon or lime in the fridge and again, keep straws and cocktail stirrers out to make an ordinary cocktail look a little more glam. 

What tips do you have for bar cart styling/building?

Make sure you check out the Jose Cuervo Teagarita package and drink, you wont be disappointed!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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