Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday Shopping: Lots of Sales




Well, we made it to another weekend, so that's promising, right? Even when we weren't social distancing, one of my favorite parts of the weekend is being able to sleep in a bit and enjoy a slow morning filled with lots of coffee and lounging. So I am thankful to still be able to do just that! 

I'm actually not quite sure what we will be up to today and tomorrow. We don't have any projects to work on at home like we did last weekend so I think we will be going on lots of walks (in between rain). 

We have been getting takeout from local restaurants on Friday and Saturday nights and last night we had Cucina Bella (one of our favorite Italian spots) and tonight we are thinking we will get Condado (tacos and margs!).

Nordstrom is having their spring sale which has things up to 40% off. I'm not usually huge on the sales that they have like this because it's usually very picked over but holy moly this sale has SO much goodness. The widget at the top of this post has some of my favorites. Think Barbour, La Ligne, Nike, etc. all 40% off. 

Nantucket Basket Dinner Plate// Chargers (super affordable) 

I've had way too much time to browse my favorite sites and they are fortunately/unfortunately having big sales. The one that really piqued my interest was Herend on sale. For those of you that don't know, Herend is a fine china brand and oh my goodness do I love it. It seriously never ever goes on sale so this is huge. It's 25% off and this site seems to have a large collection of it all included! Besides Chinese Bouquet, I love the fish scale pattern. I also really want this ring dish but even on sale, it's still quite expensive.

Sephora is having an up to 50% off sale on a small group of items. They are also offering free shipping on all orders with code FREESHIP. There are just a few items I love from their sale, including the t3 hot tools. I swear by their hairdryer and also love their curling iron!

Sweatshirt ($24)// Athletic Shorts (25% off with code GOODVIBES)
After seeing my sweatshirt that I have been raving about (that was $24), my fiancé just ordered one for himself in hopes the fabric is similar to mine! The men's version is just around $30! 

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy wherever you may be!!

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Best Dry Shampoo





  



If there was ever a product made for me, this is it. I shared with you all a while back about how I have gone to washing my hair only once per week and how it has made my hair so much healthier.

Today I am partnering with the brand,  Waterl<ss  to share with you all some new products I have been using and loving.  Waterl<ss is a line of hair care products that you can use on your non-hair wash days.

The background of the product is really cool. In January 2018, South Africa announced it was 3 months away from running out of water for the city. Since people were all trying to conserve water, they understandably had to stretch their time between washing their hair.  Waterl<ss ended up launching their testing phase in Cape Town during that time and it helped people to have clean, conditioned hair without using a drop of water! Pretty cool.

After its success in South Africa, it became available here in the US. The brand has a wide range of products for all different hair types. The products range from cleansing, conditioning, fragrance, and styling. I’ve honestly never really loved dry shampoo because it always left a residue in my hair. Because of that, I’ve been skeptical and have always left it out of my routine. However, this dry shampoo doesn’t leave any residue AT ALL. Seriously. I let my sister try it, who has brown hair, and she was amazed at how it leaves no ‘white’ on her hair. And did I mention it actually cleans your hair?

So, in the mornings after my workout, I can just spray the Dry Shampoo No Residue in my hair and all of a sudden, my day 3+ hair looks so much fresher. It’s crazy the difference it makes.

I had definitely not heard of or tried dry conditioner before Waterl<ss  Dry Conditioner that helps with frizz and helps to combat dry ends. I have super thick hair and I love any product that adds moisture and cuts down on frizz... this does just that. If you’re looking to do a sleek pony, this is exactly the product you need!
I’ve also been using their Fragrance Mist which is 1.3oz so it is the perfect size to throw in your bag. It tames static and frizz and smells SO good. Whenever I’m on day 5 or 6, the great shampoo scent is no longer there so this helps to give my hair the best smell. The scent is fresh and doesn't smell 'fake' or overpowering in any way.
The Heat Shield protects hair from temperatures up to 450 degrees. I curl my hair often and this is nice to spritz on right before I use my curling iron.

Thank you to  Waterl<ss for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Lately


First of all, thank you to every single one of you who left the kindest, most thoughtful and heartfelt messages, comments, e-mails, etc. from yesterday's blog post about having to postpone our wedding. I was extremely nervous to post what I did and you all uplifted me and gave me hope. Thank you. Truly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have always known that the Summer Wind community is filled with the most wonderful women (and some men!!) but I was truly floored with everyone's understanding and giving me space and time to feel what I am feeling. Your respect means everything.

I'm hoping I can truck on with all of the normalcy as possible here. I truly want this to be a place of light and happiness if at all possible and so there will be no dwelling! I am picking myself up by the bootstraps and we are going to carry on here. I am hopeful that this will end soon.

Last week was very rough for us so this week has been much lighter and I am so thankful for that. I enjoyed a phone call with my grammie, had a happy hour on Zoom with my girlfriends, and then have a Facetime happy hour scheduled for Friday with my cousins, parents, aunt/uncle, and sister/future brother in law! If you haven't done Zoom or a FaceTime session yet, I definitely encourage it. It truly takes your mind off of everything for a while.

I've also been making it a priority to decorate and find new pieces for our house which has been a nice distraction and has made our home feel cozier and more peaceful. I will say, our house has never been cleaner, ha! I've been setting the table even for the most casual of dinners because it makes it feel more special! Here's one of the settings from last week!

Wearing: The top that I have and love is currently 20% off and it comes in a dress version which I just think is darling. You can see more of my favorites, here.

Eating: One of my favorite things we have cooked this week so far has been burger bowls. Well, actually, my fiancé was trying to recreate Steak 'n Shakes Frisco melt, but instead, I turned mine into a bowl with a bed of shredded lettuce, pickles, etc. It was so good and so easy. We didn't really follow a specific recipe but rather followed a bunch fo different ones and pulled things we liked from each. He even made the 'Frisco' sauce which turned out pretty darn well! 

Sale-ing: Lilly Pulitzer is having a SALE! Yes, you read that right. 30% off select styles with code LILLYFAM. This is such a rare occurrence and honestly, I could use some Lilly in my life because the prints and colors bring me joy. 

Watching:
 You guys. I shared this before, but I cannot get enough of 'Before the 90 Days' on TLC. I am watching passed seasons on-demand and OMG it is reality TV gold. If you need something that is more mindless, this is just wild!! 

Listening: I've been listening to a lot of Van Morrison because it's easy listening, but mostly upbeat. I did a post about things I like to listen to when working from home that might be of interest to you! 

Loving: I just got this sweatshirt and to say I love it is an understatement. It is such high quality, the fabric is so soft, and I love the shape of it. I got a size small so I would say it runs true to size. I think it looks and feels like something you would find at Lululemon, just without that higher price tag. Right now it's 40% off, then you get an extra 20% off, making it come out to be $28ish. 


Wanting:
So many sales, it's all so tempting!

Pittsburgh-ing: Last weekend we got takeout from Iron Born in Millvale and Little Tokyo in Mt. Lebanon. We are brainstorming our next local takeout spots to support during this tough time. We are trying to stay healthy by cooking at home but letting ourselves indulge during the weekend and also help to support all of the amazing local restaurants we have in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh-ing II: Towards the end of this video, you get a glimpse into the renderings of what the Pittsburgh airport will look like in a few years. The renovations are supposed to start this year and open within 3 years. It desperately needs a facelift, so I'm excited about this! I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to be back in an airport again! 

Smelling: I've shared this scent before, but it's really perfect for this season. It's so fresh and light and really fills an entire room. We have been having candles burning non-stop. I find the glow from them, especially at night, is comforting. 

Quoting: 'Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.' - Helen Keller // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wedding Wednesday: We Had To Postpone Our Wedding Due To COVID-19


Disclaimer: If me being truthful in sharing my sadness about us having to postpone our wedding is going to trigger you negatively in any way, please stop here and move on to something that will bring you joy. I say that in all sincerity and with empathy in my heart as I recognize there are far worse issues and bigger problems in this world. My sadness is justified and if you think otherwise and are considering sending me a comment or DM that is hurtful or hateful, this is not the place for you at this time. My emotions are fragile at the very best and we all need to work to be a little kinder to each other (always, but especially during this time).

Just because I am sad, it does not diminish or make light of anyone else's suffering from anything- whether great or small. I'm fully aware this is not just happening to me and I am not looking for your sympathy, but rather wanted to share with you all as I have been chronicling our wedding planning. This has unfortunately affected so many couples across the globe and I so badly wish that wasn't the case. Thinking of all of the heartbreak in the world right now is too much to even comprehend at times. This is a time in which we ALL have to make so many sacrifices. These sacrifices come in all different shapes and sizes. Bride or not, we are all in this together and we will all get through it together. End disclaimer... 

2020 marks my 11th year of blogging. Eleven. I started when I was 19 and in 3 weeks, I will be turning 30. I have grown and changed in so many ways but one of the things that has always been constant here on Summer Wind is that it has been a place of positivity. It has been a place for me to spread joy, happiness, and lightness. I have always preached about how important it is to look at the glass half full and to always find the silver lining in even the worst of situations. Not only do I preach this, but this is truly how I live. 

To be quite honest, this post is hard for me to write because it has taken all of me to stay my usual, positive self. Last week was a week of sheer craziness for me, my fiancé, and our families as we made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding. I battled anxiety that I didn't even know I was capable of having. I felt sadness, I felt hopeless, I felt unlike myself.

Now that we have a plan in place, though, I feel more hopeful. I feel more in control and although my anxiety has not subsided, it has become more manageable. 

We got engaged in December 2018 and have been meticulously planning our wedding over the past 15+ months as you all have watched via my Wedding Wednesday posts. We were counting down the weeks and I truly couldn't wait. 

Our invitations had been sent, RSVP's had started rolling in, dress fittings, makeup trials, etc. had been done. We were ready to go. We were so ready to stand up on the altar in front of our nearest and dearest and commit to a lifetime together. 

But we made the call to postpone. No one forced us into it but we made the call to protect our guests. We made the call so that we wouldn't be a part of the spread. We made the call so that my 94-year-old grammie could watch me walk down the aisle. We made the call so that the dark cloud of covid-19 was not hanging over what is to hopefully be one of the happiest days of our lives.

Another reason we made the call is that there was still a lot we needed to do in terms of last-minute preparations for our wedding that required us to be able to meet with people in person. Even if it came to us being able to go through with our planned wedding date, the last-minute details would likely not have been able to take place. 

Planning a wedding is exciting, time-consuming and stressful. And although the stress was present, the joy always beat out the stress. That stress I was feeling before? I can't believe that I ever even considered it stress. 

Now, let's get to the bright side because there is one... there is always a bright side. We were able to postpone to a later date.

The flexibility, guidance, and compassion from our vendors was the most incredible thing. Their kindness and support had me in happy tears so many times. I wasn't planning on doing this until after our wedding, but I want to personally shout out each vendor. If you are in the planning stages of a wedding, please consider using these vendors. They have been incredible in this situation and many event industry businesses are small businesses and need business to stay up and running. 

The Duquesne Club// Our venue has been working tirelessly to move everything over to our new date. They have taken things in their own hands and been so kind and compassionate. 

St. Bernard Catholic Church// Our church had the priests themselves manning the phones, working tirelessly to make sure that every single one of their weddings could be taken care of and rescheduled. Our deacon was constantly texting me, keeping me in the loop and most importantly, praying for us.

Mosaic Linens// Susie was on it right away! She guided us and gave us advice and was entirely flexible and moved everything over for us. 

Dixie Design// Our stationery company has been incredible. They knew exactly how to proceed and I will share this info with all of you below so that if you are unfortunately in a similar situation to us, that you can use their guidance. We have a plan in place! 

Eventioneers// This is our rental company and the owner Lisa was so swift in updating our contract and getting everything moved over to our new date. She handled it with compassion and kindness. 

Mt. Lebanon Floral// Our florist reached out to us in the first place to make sure we were OK and said they were there for us whenever we needed them. Their flexibility was wonderful and gave us a great sigh of relief. 

Bachelor Boy Band// Our band was quick to let us know they were available for our new date. They made everything so easy and stress-free. 

Matt Mantyla and Derek Quinn// Our photographers swapped out the date with no issues. 

Tortorice Transportation// I gave them a call and they immediately made everything work for our new date, no questions asked. 

Hair By Courtney Benedetti// Courtney was so great in guiding me throughout all of this and was available for our new date.

Makeup by Tamie Konzier// Tamie was so quick to respond and went as far as to say she would move around a trip she has if need be... I mean talk about flexible. 

Judith Brown Calligraphy// Judith was so sweet and so kind when we told her there would be a great delay in when we would need the calligraphy done.

Cucina Bella// Carmen, the owner, went to my high school and he is so great. We LOVE Cucina Bella. For those of you who don't know, it's a local restaurant that specializes in Italian food. It's absolutely delicious. Carmen so easily swapped out our rehearsal dinner for the new date and we will be sure to be getting take out from Cucina Bella during our quarantine time to continuously support this great restaurant. 

Nemacolin Woodlands// We had our mini-moon scheduled there and they price matched our reservation (I didn't even have to ask) and moved it without hesitation.

Palmer Shonk// Palmer is our bagpiper (surprise!) and he was so great in being able to switch the date.

Bridal Beginnings// This is where I got my dress and they were so wonderful for being able to continuously store my dress and update my fitting schedule. 

Honeymoon// We also canceled our honeymoon. We were going to spend a few nights in London, then make our way to Southampton. We were going on a 14-night Baltic sea Celebrity cruise going to places like St. Petersburg, Russia, Copenhagen, Denmark, Berlin Germany, Stockholm, Sweden, etc. etc. Then we were going to end our trip with a few nights in Paris. We were going to be gone for 3 weeks and it was going to be the trip of a lifetime. The positive? Celebrity and all of the travel plans we had made were refunded in full. We are so thankful. Since timing will be completely different for a honeymoon we have to go back to the drawing board. We are not making plans any time soon because we need to see what the ability to travel will be in the future.

I also want to highlight something for those of you who might not be able to empathize with brides or think that their stress/sadness is trivial. Couples are heartbroken because they have to postpone something they have been planning and dreaming about for months, and in many bride's cases, their entire life. Rearranging a large number of moving parts (as you can see from all of the vendors I have listed above) is a tough task. Not to mention the reality of having to communicate with all of your guests, too. I'm so thankful to all of the vendors that were so helpful and compassionate. I know for many couples that not all of their vendors/venues/etc. are able to coordinate on the same date. There are huge problems, financial losses, and kinks that can occur if that is the case... which is why I say there is really no blanket advice for this because there are just so many moving parts to any wedding and no one can make these decisions for you. 

What we personally did to postpone was to first reach out to our church and venue as those were the two most important items in our mind. The biggest fear of mine was not being able to get a mutual date between the church and venue as we had issues with that when we started planning over a year out. We are very lucky that we got a date where they were both available. Then, we contacted the rest of the vendors with our fingers crossed that they would be available. We were amazed that they all were available. I am going to think of it as a wedding gift from my late grandma, pappy, and grandpa.

This is a tip for brides currently in the early stages of planning: make a vendor contact/info list where you have all of the information about every single vendor involved in your wedding and keep it updated. The ability to contact all of our vendors in an orderly fashion was truly due to the organized documents I had created. 

The next step was to inform our guests. We did so via text/calls as soon as everything was set with the church/venue/vendors. My parents, future mother in law, fiancé and I were all on our phones disseminating the information. We were especially swift in notifying the few guests with flights/more complicated travel plans. 

We then updated our wedding website to reflect the new information and are currently working with Dixie Design to send out a formal 'updates' card as well as new RSVP cards so people get something formal in the mail and we are able to recollect RSVP's in an orderly fashion. We have a big concern right now that many guests will not be able to attend our new date as people (understandably) make life plans so far ahead. We had given all of our guests over a year's notice so that they all were able to make arrangements to come to our wedding. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and if anything, we know that at the very least, our immediate families will be with us and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

Dixie Design, our stationer has been absolutely brilliant in guiding us on the wording and all of that. They are even going to updated our old invitation with the new date so we would have it for framing, photos, etc.

Dixie Design went one step further and if you are a bride that has also been affected, they are currently offering digital files for you to use to text or email to your family and friends to notify them of the postponement and/or the new date. They are also offering to work with couples to create a 'details' card (like they are doing for me) at a reduced cost to couples facing similar situations (even if you are not currently a client). Dixie Design has been a dream to work with for all of our paper needs for our wedding and I could not urge you more to support their small business in any way you can. They do the best work! Even if you are not a bride, they have beautiful personalized stationery, gift, tags, and so much more.

I also went through all of the wedding items we had purchased thus far and made a list of all of the items we had purchased with our date on it. Now I know I need to reorder these items so that they reflect our new date. Thankfully, it wasn't much. I am the most relieved that we hadn't had my fiancé's wedding band engraved yet!

One other thing that we didn't' have to deal with was our marriage license as we weren't planning on getting that until today, actually (which we obviously aren't getting now). So, I'm not entirely sure what you do about that, but I wanted to mention that because it's an extremely important part of everything. I would assume this type of thing varies by state.

If you're currently going through the sadness and heartbreak right now from a postponed or canceled wedding, please know that I empathize with you. One thing that has become even clearer throughout this entire situation is that my fiancé and I are so lucky to have each other and if we can get through this mess, we can get through anything. We are also so lucky to have the support and love from our family and friends. It has helped us get through this with full hearts.

Moving forward, I am resuming with regular Wedding Wednesday content. I am running out of ideas now that we have a longer period of time until our wedding so if you have any ideas, let me know!
 

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