Tuesday, November 30, 2010

william & kate

i'm not a huge follower of prince william or any other celebrity (would you call him that?) for that matter, but i found this interview very transparent and refreshing. did you know kate's dress (the one by issa which she wore during this interview) sold out just hours after the engagement was announced in london?

100 layer cake

the wait is over! if you're a bride-to-be, and you've been following 100 Layer Cake's blog, falling in love with the photos of their real weddings and unique diy ideas, then you have to check out their new website - 100layercake.com. it's awesome.

one of the most useful resources on the site is the marketplace in which brides and grooms can post requests and vendors can bid on them. genius!

Monday, November 29, 2010

success: the dress!

dear friends! please excuse the lack of blogging this past week. i had the most relaxing time at home in chicago with my family. i have to take a moment here and say i LOVE going home. wherever home happens to be - chicago, virginia, chicago again - my mom knows how to make any house feel comfortable and familiar. home will always be where my family is. we had the best time this week going about our annual traditions (stay tuned for an upcoming post!), reading by the fire, playing silly board games, watching Father of the Bride (yes, my dad and i cried - we love that movie!), AND wedding dress shopping!

and, sweet readers, i found THE one!

to be honest, i was pretty nervous about the whole experience. i love fashion and wanted something romantic and different from most of the gowns i'd seen in all the bridal magazines - but i still wanted to look and feel like a bride. that and a pretty strict budget had me worried that i might have trouble finding a dress in just one week's time (the length of time i was home with my mom and sisters).

so with head held high and armed with my notebook of every inspiring photo, fabric swatch, magazine cut-out, wedding detail or whimsy that caught my eye, i braved my first appointment... and, it went incredibly well! the bridal consultants were cheery, my mom, sisters, and aunt were wonderfully supportive, and it was just plain fun to play dress up for an hour!

a couple pieces of advice for all you sister brides-to-be (hi ladies!) -
1. take photos of what you like (and perhaps, what you dislike) with you. this proved extremely helpful for me as i met with each consultant in an overwhelming sea of satin, tulle, and lace. knowing what i liked help cut down on wasted time trying on bedazzled ballgowns.

2. then stick to your guns! if you know you don't want a mermaid gown, let the consultant know (and then tell her again, nicely, when she brings you three mermaids she just thought you'd adore).

3. bring only the few, the trusted, the smiling. as much as i wanted all my bridesmaids to participate in dress shopping, i really loved sharing the experience with just a few women from my family - my mom, my sisters, and my aunt. i purposefully wanted to go with them because i knew they'd make our time special. i brought my mom because, well, she is my mom and i couldn't imagine trying on a wedding dress without her and because i trust her ability to tell me the truth in the most loving way (whether good or bad!). my sister Kirby because she is a protector of me - not only from others but also from myself. i knew if i started to freak out or feel ugly, she'd be the one to encourage me. my sister Audrey because she is hilarious and brings a necessary lightness to things. my aunt Carol because she has impeccable taste. seriously, the woman has incredible style.

4. take photos. at one point, i had one sister snapping away on my phone and another on the camera. at the time i thought it was overkill, but a few days later when i couldn't remember if the dress i thought i loved had buttons in the back, they were a great help!

5. play! but don't be afraid to make a decision. dressing up should be fun - so twirl, try on a veil, and enjoy feeling beautiful. but, and i wish i didn't have to say this, you must know that the gown shopping must come to an end. it must. or you risk walking down the aisle in spanx and heels. let yourself choose and then never look back. i was so glad to only have one week to find a dress, especially after witnessing the complete meltdown of a bride in the room next to me who had been trying on gowns for over 6 months. the poor girl could not make a decision and was tearfully calling anyone who would listen to ask if she should go with the birdcage or elbow-length veil. she'd tried over 100 dresses. no girl needs to put herself through that kind of agony.

standing in front of the mirror in my dress, i could imagine walking down the aisle to this wonderful man i am so blessed to be marrying. i needed nothing more to convince me it was the one. now, if only june weren't so far away!

unfortunately, because m checks this little blog of mine from time to time, i cannot post a photo of the dress i chose. i will have to reveal it post the big day!

click on images for source

Thursday, November 18, 2010


in honor of the premier of Harry Potter 7 (which i may be attending tonight at midnight... fully decked out as a house elf), i had to post these striking photos of emma watson. can you believe this beauty couldn't cut her hair for 9 years?! i think i would have gone pixie-short too once given my freedom. emma graces the covers of both the december issues of vogue uk and marie claire. isn't the short hair fabulous?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

diy food

Green Wedding Shoes had an amazing post about a do-it-yourself cupcake topping bar. i couldn't resist re-posting. i love diy wedding food. the more choices for guests, the better. m & i are thinking of doing a mashed potato topping bar, complete with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, white potatoes, cheese, bacon, you name it!

check out the entire post here!

the gown

i LOVE this dress from lela rose. it reminds me of royalty somehow. gorgeous.

i probably won't wear a full skirt for my wedding, but i couldn't help gawking at the beauty of the above lela rose gown. i love the tulle straps, don't you? above two dresses are sarah seven, one of my favorite designers. would you wear a short gown for your wedding? it's pretty trendy. i'm considering trying one for a getaway dress - i love that old tradition!

i'd love to know your thoughts!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

lovely in lace

just a few favorite dresses from Delphine Manivet. i am loving lace, backless, slouchy dresses lately. i will be wedding dress shopping next week in chicago, so check back in for some more wedding dress inspiration!

Monday, November 15, 2010

some paper favorites

m & i had a weekend of wedding planning. it got me thinking of all the lovely paper i'd love to incorporate. we're currently brainstorming save-the-date ideas, and i'd love to hear your thoughts!

i love calligraphy, don't you? etsy actually has some wonderfully elegant options like the above. once we move into our new place, i'd love to spring for one of these address stamps.

i am loving all the fun save-the-dates out there. the love birds are cute. i love prints like the one above. i'd like to mix it into my mismatched frames of family and friends as a good reminder to slow down during my day. i love this poster that combines the art of paper-cutting with you & your hubby's fingerprints.

i adore this handwriting, perhaps more than any other. and these short quips are just so sweet, aren't they? the calendar for april, may, june reads: "what if the stars began to shout their names."

these posters are more iconic and modern. i can imagine hanging one in a guest bedroom. do you have any paper favorites i should know about?

Friday, November 12, 2010

girl crush

isn't this redhead gorgeous? i love her freckles. i've never dyed my hair, but i can't say i've never been tempted... perhaps after the wedding i'll go red! what do you think? too drastic?

images here

Thursday, November 11, 2010

tastes orangey

i've been eyeing these sewn prints from etsy seller tastes orangey for quite some time now. i'd love to hang a few grouped together in my bedroom. just the right amount of delicately elegant, don't you think?

today i am thankful...

it's been one of those weeks. i've been pretty grumpy and haven't felt like my normal, chipper self. for seemingly no reason at all. i realized yesterday as i was verbalizing my bad mood to anyone who would listen (sorry, innocent friends!) that my discontentment stems almost altogether from my lack of gratitude. funny how i seem to always get the order of things wrong. we want the blessing first so that we may be grateful next, instead of being grateful first and therefore having a greater awareness of the blessings we already claim as our own.

today i am thankful.

thankful for...

babies. i love babies. the above baby is my sweet cousin, Bennett (adorable name, yes?). babies are cute. they do hilarious things. they make simple, everyday things (eating, talking, having the hiccups, walking) hilarious. and in Charlottesville, i am blessed to be surrounded by babies. all. the. time. Charlottesville is a breeding grounds for young marrieds. so though i probably won't have a baby of my own for many years, i'm able to get my fill of chirpy, chubby little ones each day.

sisters. what can i say? my sisters are the most amazing women i've ever met. i've never laughed harder than i have with them. they are beautiful, unique, and incredibly generous with their love.

letters. receiving and writing them (above picture was taken during one of my letter writing kicks earlier this year). my girlfriends from college and i all write letters (okay, emails) to each other every week so we can keep up with the days' happenings. and with two of them in africa and one in italy, i cherish those small moments of reconnecting.

conquistadorable & nice knickers. at the risk of sounding superficial, i am thankful for this new opi nail color and benefit lipstick. i used both this week and felt instantly chic. there is something wonderful to be said about feeling girly and beautiful.

i'm incredibly blessed, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

s'mores sommelier

i keep a folder of places i'd like to visit, and after I discovered Paws Up Resort on the Today Show, Montana has officially been added to the list. y'all - have you ever heard of glamping? it's glamorous camping, and i'm all about it.

Montana looks gorgeous, doesn't it? the resort offers fly fishing, atv rides, horseback riding, and a full concierge service for your tent or cabin to just name a few perks.

and did i mention their food looks amazing? this molten chocolate cake had me at hello. is it too early to start planning a one-year anniversary trip?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

mason jars

so many weddings (and events for that matter) these days are incorporating mason jars and vintage apothecary bottles into their place settings and centerpieces. i love the timeless feel of them. i've collected about 35 so far for my wedding from various antique stores. i haven't decided how best to use them yet - just look at all these inspiring ideas!

ideas here, here, and here
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