Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday Shopping



Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying some time to relax and have fun! We have family and friends in town for our couple's shower this evening and I am so excited! We also have our floral mockup appointment this morning, YAY! 

On top of all of that, I definitely need to get in a little work, which won't exactly be exciting, but very necessary. Scroll through the widget above to see what I have been loving from this week! 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Home Decor: Beautiful Picture Frames

I love to collect picture frames and pepper them all around our house. I think displaying photos of loved ones, travels, and more is a big part of what makes a house a home. I also think that a picture with a meaningful picture inside is always an appropriate gift, so I like to have a few on hand (in my 'gift drawer'). This leather frame can be personalized and is under $100. 

Today I thought I would share some of my favorites. I buy a lot of them at Homegoods, but sometimes I see one online and think 'I have to have that'. I also love purchasing frames at antique stores as they are usually more ornate/special looking! 

Something you can do to easily change the look of your decor is to swap out your traditional frames for rattan or more natural frames for the summer months. You get a very subtle seasonal vibe and same for Christmas- a tartan frame here or there is such fun!


And for all of my fellow Father of the Bride/Nancy Meyers worshippers, in the Father of the Bride home, there are little vignettes of frames all over the house and I love that. Nancy Meyers actually does this a lot throughout her homes and I definitely think it adds a lot of character and charm. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Lately

I hope you all are having a great week. For some of you, it was a short week which is great! I worked on Monday but I didn't mind at all! Can you believe we only have one more week left of February? March is my least favorite month out of the year but it's going to fly by with all I have planned.

This week was jampacked. We got our envelopes back from the calligrapher and stuffed/stamped and sent them out. I truly can't believe it and I am so excited

I got a bit ahead on work which is always a good thing! We have friends and family coming to town starting tomorrow for our couple's shower and I'm so excited. Saturday morning we also have our floral mockup which is going to be fun.

I just booked my flight for a fun trip in a few weeks and I can't wait for that. I'll be sharing in an upcoming Wedding Wednesday!

Wearing: I just got this Striped Cashmere Sweater and I love it so much. The quality is impeccable and it's timeless. I have a serious obsession with blue and white stripes, ha!

Eating: I love okra. Like it's one of my very favorite foods in the entire world. Fried, steamed, whatever, I love it. I think it's a southern thing, though, so it's really hard to find on any menu here in Pittsburgh. I specifically go to Cracker Barrel because they have fried Okra. Well, I had a moment in Walmart the other day as I realized they sold frozen Okra (and it's literally like $1). All you do is put it in the microwave and add salt and a little butter. DELICIOUS. They also sell dried okra at Fresh Market which I am obsessed with, too. Petition for more Okra in Pittsburgh, please!!

Reading: This is on my to-read list! 

Sale-ing: Aerin's pieces are so luxurious and beautiful but they also come with a high price tag. Right now you can snag some beautiful pieces on major sale. 

Watching:
 You guys. If you love your wicked good slippers as much as I do but it drives you nuts that they come untied all of the time, then you need to watch this Youtube video! It teaches you how to tie them so they don't come undone and it WORKS!!!!

Watching II: The Stranger Things season 4 trailer is out!!! 

Loving: We registered for these beautiful wine glasses at Williams-Sonoma but I just saw they're on clearance, here for only $8ish a piece. Such a good deal! 


Wanting:
 Not too much on my radar this week (thankfully for my pocketbook, ha!). 

Pittsburgh-ing: A list of breweries opening up soon in Pittsburgh! 

Traveling: I'm headed south to warmer weather in a few weeks and I can't wait! 

Quoting: 'So many people love you. Don't focus on those who do not.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wedding Wednesday: Spring Special Occasion Dresses

Wedding Wednesday: Spring Special Occasion Dresses
This is one of my most commonly asked questions whether I am engaged or not: recommendations on dresses to wear to weddings/events so I really try to share a roundup every few months. There are a lot of really great dresses out right now so I am going to break them down into a few categories and share my favorites! Happy shopping!

Cocktail:



Formal:



Casual:


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Workout Wardrobe Staples for a HIIT Workout

Workout Wardrobe Staples for HIIT Workout
I have been doing Orange Theory regularly for over 5 months now and I love it. You can read my post about it, here. I thought I would share my Orange Theory staples with you all- they're not specific just to the Orange Theory classes but great for a multitude of activities and workouts! 

I have a lot of different leggings, sports bras, etc. but these are my staples. If these pieces are clean, I'd choose them over anything else that I have!

Sports Bra// I don't like padding in my sports bras and this one doesn't have any but still offers good compression and support. The material is sweat-wicking and just an overall great classic-style racerback sports bra. I have a small chest so take my recommendations with a grain of salt if you have a larger chest! Plus, these are inexpensive and can often be found on sale, too. 

Leggings// I keep trying to find another brand of leggings that compare to these and nothing ever compares. Sure, there have been some similar finds but I'd still choose these over anything else. I have actually been wearing these leggings since they were called the 'high times' pant, that is how devoted I have been to them, ha! They are high-waisted. They compress you but not too much so that they're still easy to get on and off. The fabric is SO soft and sweat-wicking and has a 'cool' feel. They wash well. I have had a few pairs for many years and wash after wash, they're perfect. 

Tank// This is my favorite tank. I love the looser fit and the lower front/back hems and the mesh back. It's a 'cool' sweat-wicking material and lightweight. It's flattering and washes well. I think this runs a little big. 

Sneakers// I  just got these sneakers. I'm typically an Adidas Ultraboost gal but these sneakers are next level supportive. They feel unlike any other athletic sneaker I have ever worn. They have so much cushion and I almost feel 'bouncy' when I run in them if that makes sense. I have bad knees and a super high arch and I think these really help to absorb the shock and support my high arch. 

Coiled Hair Tie// I have talked about these many times before but these are the best. I have tried alllll of the other coiled hair ties and these do not break and truly hold all of my hair tightly for an entire workout. 

Water bottle// This is the water bottle I use. I don't love it, but it holds a lot of water and that was what was most important to me. 

Long Sleeve Tee// I LOVE these long sleeve tees. I love the mock neck and they're just easy to throw on over my tanks to go to and from class. They're super soft and just very comfortable. I have both black and white. They run true to size. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Best White Crewneck Tee

The Best White Crewneck Tee

The Best White Crewneck Tee

The Best White Crewneck Tee

The Best White Crewneck Tee
Thus far, I have spent 2020 in search for the perfect white tee. I have old white tees from Gap, Abercrombie and Lord and Taylor for Walmart. All three have been my favorites in the past and unfortunately, they have seen better days and are no longer available.

The thing about white tees are that they are such a wardrobe basic and staple that they get a lot of wear and therefore have to be replaced. So I have learned my lesson and when I find a wardrobe basic that I absolutely love, I buy several!

I have ordered and returned SO many tees in the past 6 weeks of this year consistently disappointed. I tried everything from pricey Rag and Bone, to classics like L.L. Bean to budget-friendly Amazon brand. Most of the tees I tried were 'fine' but nothing ever stuck out to me. Some were horrible. You all know how much I love Club Monaco so I could not believe the lack of quality on Club Monaco's classic white crewneck tee. It was tissue-thin and completely see-through. Awful!

I have finally found what I would consider the perfect crewneck tee and the absolute best part is that it is only $15 and comes in 12 colors.

Here's why I love it:
- It runs true to size. No guessing. I'm wearing a small.
- The crewneck is a 'tight' crewneck. I know it will keep its shape with many wears and washes.
- The fabric is thick and soft and fully opaque.
- It's 100% cotton so there are no synthetic materials (keep this in mind if you choose to put it in the dryer).
- It fits nicely. There's not weird creasing in the armpits or bagginess or tightness in areas.
- The price is so inexpensive! 


I love these jeans and wear them often and you all ask about them every single time. Unfortunately, I bought this exact pair in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a few years ago so this exact pair is no longer available, however, the style is called the 'Madison' and they have some updated washes in this same style! I also think this pair looks SO similar- almost more similar than the same brand styles.

Tweed Jacket// Dior Black Suede Pumps (similar)

A white tee and jeans is about as classic Americana as you can get. But, if I'm being honest, it's a rarity that I'm just in a tee and jeans so I wanted to share an example with you of how I personally wear a white tee. Obviously, it's a basic but you can really dress it up in a bunch of different ways!

I've been wearing this Tweed Jacket non-stop lately. It's so chic and classic and can be worn in so many different ways. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday Shopping




Did everyone have a nice Valentine's Day?! The cleaning service came and we got take out sushi from my favorite restaurant... to me, that's perfect!!! Today I'm off to a baby shower and then we have a birthday party and then headed to my parent's for a Valentine's Dinner!

Sunday I have a lot of work to tackle, unfortunately, but trying to work ahead as much as possible lately! 

Do any of you have off for Monday's President's Day holiday? I am doing and Orange Theory class and plan on working for the most part. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Pittsburgh Services I Use and Recommend


Sweater// Lip Color (in wild fig)// Earrings

Happy Valentine's Day! Today I am sharing all of the resources in Pittsburgh that I use and know would be helpful to all of you if you also love in the area. I will come back to this post periodically and update it with new people/services as time goes on! 

Hair
Max Manni Salon
I see Abby and she is phenomenal. It is an Aveda salon. I've been going for years. Highly recommend. 


Nails

Envy Nails
I don't see any tech in particular but there are several Envy's and I go to the one at Siena. It's the nicest in my opinion and every person I have ever had has always done an excellent job. 

Eyelash Extensions
Salon Blanca
I see Brittany and she is truly the best. She recently moved salons and it's quite far away from my home but I still drive all that way to see Brittany!

Tailor
Nora Dang
This is a no-frills tailor in a kind of hole-in-the-wall location, but he is great and always gets it right. He's also quick and inexpensive. I wouldn't take something like a wedding gown there, but otherwise, fair game. 

Cobbler 
Mt. Lebanon Shoe Repair
He can pretty much fix anything and everything. My dad has been going to him forever so when I started investing in shoes, I started going to him. He does great work and can also repair things like handbags. 

Spray Tan
Brushed by Dina
She is seriously the BEST. I'm not a huge spray tan gal. I'm OK with being pale in the winters, but when I need some color, Dina is my girl. She is quick and the color is always so natural. 

Cleaning Service
The Cleaning Authority
This is a larger company and I don't necessarily recommend them wholeheartedly yet as we haven't had enough cleaning done yet. But so far so good. 

Vet
Dr. Koch and Hidden Valley Animal Clinic
My dad knows Dr. Koch from high school and he had always taken such good care of Mac so it was a no-brainer to take Henry here. They are fantastic. 

Groomer
The Pet Stop
This is a hole in the wall but they do a really good job and Henry seems to like it. We always took Mac here, so Henry and Bean (my sister's dog) always go here. They have built years of trust with us. We like Audrey the best. When I lived in the city, I used Lather in Bloomfield and it was also great.

Florist
Mt. Lebanon Floral
Where we get most of our arrangements... we great up using MTL Floral and I'm using them for our wedding. 
Movers
Gardner 
I used them for my most recent move and they were absolutely phenomenal. They were so professional, careful, quick, and respectful. I could not recommend them more. Their prices were competitive with many other movers I called for quotes.

Carpet Cleaning
Coit
They do a great job and are quick and affordable. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Lately


This week has gone by in the blink of the eye. Basically, I'm a crazy lady from now until the wedding. It's nuts over here. We have some friends and family coming to town next weekend for our shower which I am so excited about. We have our cleaning person coming tomorrow which I'm also thrilled about! Tomorrow night we are celebrating Valentine's Day by ordering in (our favorite sushi from Little Tokyo). You can read what happened to us last year, here, ha!!!

Saturday morning I have a baby shower to attend, then we head to a birthday party, and then dinner at my parents to celebrate Valentine's all together with my grammie!

I have a hair appointment tomorrow which will take up a large chunk of my day which is annoying but I also love my stylist and I just have a TON of hair so I have to deal with it. I scheduled so many appointments for next week I'm already feeling a little overwhelmed, to be honest, but they need to be done. Basically, this paragraph is just word vomit so that tells you something about the craziness happening, hah!

Wearing: I randomly bought this coat this week after seeing it in the store (it was on major sale). The photo on the website would not have enticed me enough to buy but in person, this coat is so beautiful. It's a dark navy blue tweed with metallic thread but it's actually a puffer coat. I shared this on my instastories the other day and I showed the adorable nipped waist in the back making it flattering and dressier than your average puffer. So excited about this one. I am wearing a size small and I would say it runs true to size. This striped tee is also a newer favorite. It's only $16 and is just so flattering and comfortable. It runs true to size, I'm wearing a size small and has a beautiful boatneck.

Sale-ing: Orvis is having such a great sale on lots of fall/winter items including Barbour! This is a great retailer for men's clothing. They usually have classic styles that are high quality.

Sale-ing II: If you are a Rao's pasta sauce lover like me, then you'll want to know that it is currently on sale at Whole Foods through 2/25. I'm stocking up- it's the only jarred sauce I use. 

Watching:
 The shirley temple king is on Ellen and is the CUTEST thing ever. You can't not smile when watching this. 

Listening: This is a reminder of where I share my favorite playlists as I have gotten an increase of questions about it lately! 

Loving: I recently picked up this highlighter and it is already my favorite highlighter EVER. I got it in the color opal and it's basically the color of my skin and the powder is so fine that it just blends right in and doesn't look like makeup. The shimmer is natural and just so beautiful. I got the mini size because I don't use much highlighter and this was a cheaper price than the bigger one! 

Wanting: Not too much this week! I'm headed out of town next month so I've been looking for some pieces to bring along with me. 

Smelling: One of my very favorite candles is currently on sale for $23!!

Quoting: 'Admire someone's beauty without questioning your own.'  // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Wedding Q+A

I've only ever done one wedding Q+A before and the last one was six months ago. It's about time I do another. It's hard to do a Q+A on this topic because I feel that I have pretty much shared as much as I possibly can without giving too much away. There were a few questions that I can answer now!

What jewelry are you wearing?
I'm wearing a mix of my own and my grammie's. I'm pretty lucky in that I have quite the selection to choose from. My grandfather worked in the jewelry industry and my grammie has the most incredible jewelry. She is so generous and allowing me to borrow things! One piece of hers that I am for sure wearing is something I will do an entire blog post about because it's so special. I won't be wearing any newly purchased costume jewelry... it is important to me that every single piece of jewelry that I wear will have a meaning and a history. I personally think less is more when it comes to this. I'll decide on exactly what I'll be wearing at my final fitting which isn't for a while still. 

If you don't have a grandmother with an extensive jewelry collection (believe me, I am fully aware of how lucky I am) some costume jewelry brands that I love are Kenneth Jay Lane (love these earrings) and Nordstrom brand offers so many great pieces and most are under $100. I have real diamond studs and actually prefer wearing these that I got in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because I'm always afraid of losing my real ones. My fiancé got me a beautiful diamond bracelet for Christmas and this one looks so much like mine and it is under $100! 

If you're looking for fine jewelry that's well-priced, check out Bloomingdale's. They have an extensive fine jewelry selection and there are SO many beautiful pieces. They have a necklace that looks so similar to mine and it's currently on sale for $450! 

Have you gotten Botox?
Nope! I just did a post on skincare/wellness leading up to our wedding. I am not at all opposed to it, but I am just SO scared of needles. If I was not scared, I would have gotten it a long time ago, but the fear is very real. 

Are you having your hair and makeup done?
Yes! I have my trials coming up soon which I am excited about. I shared my makeup inspiration, here. I truly was set on doing both my own hair and makeup as I am INSANELY picky. I just like what I do myself and don't like giving up control. However, I hired two professionals who have already done my hair and makeup for a friend's wedding so I know that I love them and I am giving them my full trust. I am having my hair done for my rehearsal, wedding ceremony, and then switched up for the actual reception. I am having my makeup done for the wedding. Plus, my mom made a good point, in hiring people to do our hair and makeup it will feel like a luxury and separate it from any other morning getting ready and I think that's a good point!

Have you sent out your invitations yet?
No, not yet! But we have our invitations and they are so beautiful- I can't wait until after the wedding when I can share! Our envelopes are currently with the calligrapher and once they are done, we will be sending them out! 

Do you have a theme?
No theme, per se, but our wedding will have a clear vibe/look. 

Are you wearing white for your rehearsal dinner?
Yes! It's really more of a cream, but yes, the look is very bridal. I have had this dress since May and I love it almost as much as my wedding gown!

Did you always have a clear vision for your wedding?
Yes and no. I always knew I wanted a Pittsburgh church wedding and then likely a club reception of some sort with a live band. I always knew I wanted black tie and a smaller invitation list. However, since I was in the wedding industry, in terms of rentals and linens and all of that, it has changed a million times over. There is just so much to choose from, it's crazy! Plus, I have mentioned this before but I did always picture a December wedding so I definitely had to tweak my vision since we are doing spring! You can see my mood board for our wedding, here. 

Are you using Pinterest?
Yes! I am not sure how anyone planned a wedding without it, haha!! But seriously, Pinterest is such a great inspiration board. My wedding board is private but I've been pinning wedding stuff since I was 22 (since I worked for an event planner)! 

What are you most nervous about?
All eyes being on me. You'd think I wouldn't be concerned about this at all as I was a dancer and cheerleader all of my life and now, I literally share my life on the internet with thousands, but there's just something nerve-wracking to me when I think about everyone paying so much attention to me! I feel like there's that feeling of not knowing how to act around a bride on her wedding day, and it makes me nervous that people might treat me differently than usual just because I am the 'bride'. I just want to be regular Sydney to everyone, always! 

What are you most excited about?
Number one, being married. Number two, the fact that all of our closest friends and family will be in one room together. If I had to say a specific moment, it would be walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing my fiancé down the aisle for the first time that day. 

What was one element you were willing to splurge on?
A really good, non-cheesy wedding band. I have always been a band girl so that was my #1 priority. 

Are you doing a buffet?
No. It will be a seated 4-course dinner. 

Did you have to have a hotel block? I'm a Pittsburgh bride and wondering where I should choose. 
Our wedding is being held at a private club in Downtown Pittsburgh. This club also has 'hotel' rooms where you can stay if you are a member/a guest at an event/guest of a member. So we didn't really have to deal with the traditional hotel block which was SO nice and took a big item off of my plate. Actually, a lot of our guests that live in Pittsburgh are also staying at the club which will be such fun! 

Will you take time off from your blog/social media for your wedding?
Yes and no. The beauty of blog/social media is that I am able to be proactive and create and schedule content ahead of time. So it is my hope that there will be absolutely no lapse in blog content or Instagram posts and things will be running as usual. I just plan to work my butt off ahead of time so that I won't have to work much the week leading up to the wedding or a few days after the wedding when we are on our mini-moon. There will be no social media live posting from me on our wedding weekend. I will, of course, share afterward, but that weekend you will see nothing from me on social media! I plan on being 110% fully present. 

Are you doing a honeymoon?
Yes! Our honeymoon is about 6 weeks after our wedding so we are also doing a low-key mini-moon right after! 


White items?I get asked a lot of the same questions over and over and over again... like about my hair or my necklace or how I whiten my teeth, but ever since I got engaged I am flooded with messages every single week about white outfits/bridal accessories, etc. I have done SO many blog posts about this but will continue to share my finds when I have some with all of you as I know this is such a huge interest. As we get into the summer months, I'm sure it will be more interesting for those who are not planning a wedding because white is a great color to rock during the summer months!! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

My Enneagram



It's Valentine's week so I thought it only appropriate to be decked out in the brightest of pink! This top was gifted to me by Sail to Sable, a favorite brand of mine as they offer classic styles with a modern twist and everything is always high quality! We are giving away a $1000 shopping spree over on Instagram to one lucky winner so definitely check that out if you are also a fan of Sail to Sable

Anyway, today's photos have nothing to do with the topic of what I am chatting about! Today I wanted to chat about Enneagrams. Have you heard of this? I actually found out about this years ago and have been fascinated with it ever since. It's a personality test of sorts but you really need to read about it on the website to understand it as it is slightly complicated. The 'personalities' are sorted into 9 categories and the theory is that each of us has one of these personalities as our 'strongest'. The enneagram website charges you to take the test but I took it for free, here. The one I took gives you your top 3 and although I'm not quite sure how accurate it is comparatively when I read the results, I feel that it is spot on. I have also found a bunch of other free versions online (this is also a good and quick one) and I always get the same results... 

It's really eye-opening and for me, reading my results made me feel so understood! I am a 3: The Achiever on the enneagram scale and a close second is 1: The Perfectionist. The third is an 8: The Challenger. 

Even if you don't read into enneagrams too much, when you take the test and read your top result, it really is wild how accurate some of the characteristics are!! I had my fiancé take it was fun to read up on what he was, too! I think it can really give you an insight into another person's personality and it reminded me a bit of the love language test, too (my top love language is acts of service followed by quality time).  

Have you ever done one of these tests? I took personality tests in middle/high school but now I can't remember what I am. I'll have to take one and find out soon!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Decor: A Bedroom Vignette





Vizio TV// Lamp is from Homegoods// Rattan Frame

I have learned that I decorate best in spurts. I get really gung ho about something, focus on it, tackle it, and then take a breather. Between moving from the city to the suburbs, moving in with my fiancé, planning a wedding and a honeymoon, and trying to continue on with everything else in life (work, social, etc.), decorating has not always taken a front seat. 

I've shared this before but I honestly thought the house would be more 'done' by now, but alas, that's just not the case and I've learned to be OK with it. I'm not someone that likes to order pieces online which makes the entire process take a lot longer. I like to see pieces in person, source antiques, choose high-quality items, and really make sure that whatever I am choosing to bring into our home is something I absolutely love enough to have for 10+ years to come. 

I really like a collected feel, too, which I think takes a lot longer than a clean, more modern style. I would call my taste traditional. I definitely identify with Grand Millenial qualities. I get inspired by Mario Buatta, Dorothy Draper/Carleton Varney, Ralph Lauren, Sister Parrish, Mark D. Sikes, and more. I do feel that I am at a crossroads, though, because a lot of the designs I love that that 'cluttered' feel and that's kind of where I draw the line. If things start to feel too cluttered, I don't love it. 

I actually don't think I have an eye for interior design at all. I find it extremely challenging to execute what is in my head so I always kind of chuckle when you all ask me for tips because I really don't have too many. I do, however, know what I like and what I don't and I think that's a good place to start. When it comes to decorating, I usually have champagne taste on more of a beer budget. I could walk into any interiors store and without looking at any prices and choose the most expensive item in the entire store. I think I'm cursed!!! 

Anyway, my current decorating focus is choosing a piece for under our living room TV. We bought the Samsung Frame TV which I was so excited about. Basically, it's a TV that hangs like a piece of art rather than a TV. So it ends up being flush against the wall. I also love that there is one tiny cord that hangs down and everything is controlled by a box that sits separately from the TV. I also chose this TV because it is compatible with the Xfinity Stream app. With that app, you don't need an unsightly cable box and instead, everything streams right through your TV. 

Right now, the TV is not on the wall, and I am just dying to get it up and enjoy the 'art' look of it. The wall space where the TV will hang is very long, so I've been searching high and low looking for a piece at very minimum 70" (most dresser-style pieces are about 60"). As much as I have wanted to do built-ins in a lot of areas of this home, it makes more financial sense for us to purchase pieces that we will be able to take with us to our next home. To be quite frank, we are trying to put as little money into this home as possible as it is not our forever home. 

So the hunt is on. I've been going to antique stores and even regular furniture stores non-stop to find something. I've always had my eye open for something but just haven't found 'the piece'. It has been driving me nuts, ha! 

So today I thought I would share our little TV vignette in our bedroom. I know a TV in the bedroom is a very polarizing topic. We weren't allowed TVs in our bedroom growing up and so I never had one until I went to college and then again when I moved into my apartment. As you can see, I am pro-TV in the bedroom (for adults). I love getting into my pajamas at night and watching something like The Bachelor. It comes on at 8 and by 9:30, I'm ready to turn off the lights and go to bed. My fiancé and I like to watch movies up here, too, and I even like switching on the news some mornings. I hate silence so I like TVs on even if I'm not watching them. On top of that, our bedroom is so serene and one of the rooms in the house that is the most finished so I just love being in there. 

We didn't mean for the TV to be that big, but it was in my apartment (as the living room TV) so we didn't want the TV to go to waste. It's a Vizio and I actually highly recommend it. The brand is known to be more inexpensive but it's been such a great TV (and especially for the price). The Samsung Frame definitely has a better picture, but I'm not someone that really places high importance on super HD features. I've had it for 4 years and have never had any issues with it. 

I got sooooo lucky finding the dresser. We needed something with a small footprint as we needed a clear footpath between the bench at the end of the bed and the dresser (plus space for the drawers to fully open). This piece is something I found antiquing and the measurements were perfect down to the inch. I hadn't found anything even close to the right dimensions so I was sold on this. I like the very traditional look, too, and the style matches our nightstands, which is a bonus. 

I styled the top with truly random things I already had. I just pulled from here and there and this is what I came up with! When I style something with knick-knacks, I change it a dozen times, so what it looks like now will likely look different in a few months. 

Decor I Love:

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Saturday Shopping




I hope you are all having a great weekend! We woke up to snow yesterday morning which was fun and cozy! We were going to go out last night but ultimately decided to have a cozy night in with Thai takeout and wine! We have a slow weekend planned with errands, organization, and more, but after this weekend, life is going to get BUSY. 

I actually found quite a bit from this week. I've mentioned this before but I'm shopping a lot lately in preparation for our honeymoon... it's 6 weeks after our wedding, but it's kind of an 'odd' packing list so I'm getting a head start! 

I'm really curious about these running shoes. I have been wanting to snag a new pair for Orange Theory. I have seen a lot of people wearing them! I think they're interesting looking and I'm wondering if they are worth the hype. I actually just got these and I am OBSESSED. They were a half size too small so I'm in the process of returning and getting a bigger size, so I haven't given them a proper test run, but the support in them is unlike anything I've ever felt in a sneaker. I am really anxious to see how they perform when I get the right size. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Valentine's Gift Ideas for Him

Valentine's Gift Ideas for Him

With Valentine's Day just one week away, I thought I would share some little gifts you can snag for your significant other (and some 'bigger' ones). I included mostly Prime items as they will ship quickly! We don't do much in terms of gifts for Valentine's Day. I like to fill a basket full of things... they're all things that you might put in a Christmas stocking! 

Do you do gifts? I think it's fun to be surprised with little gifts that show you really know your significant other. I also think inexpensive gifts are so much tougher than pricier gifts and I always love a challenge. 

A few I wanted to highlight... I got my fiancé a Goyard wallet when I was in Paris in 2017 and he LOVES it. My fiancé isn't super brand conscious but he does like Goyard so this really scored me some points. You can't buy Goyard online, but you can find a bunch of other designer brand wallets. This Gucci one is cute (also love this that is less $$ and more classic)! We cook with this brand of salt all of the time. It's SO good. My fiancé loved this book and read it on one of our vacations... it's great for those into basketball! This 'sidekick' pairs with Yeti coolers as a place to store your keys/wallet/etc. but also great for things like silverware, napkins, koozies, too. My future mother-in-law got us the Yeti Cooler for Christmas so this little add on seems like something that would make for a fun gift! I got my fiancé a photo mug with a collage of photos of Henry and he seriously almost cried when he opened it- he loves it SO much. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Lately


This week has flown by. It's been a doozy and so full but also great. The beginning of the week was so beautiful and warm and it was SO nice to be able to take Henry for such long walks... truly luxurious. He was definitely in heaven.

The biggest news of the week, in my opinion, is that WE GOT OUR WEDDING SUITE IN. My jaw dropped when I opened the big box filled with the most beautiful pieces that make up our invitation. I seriously cannot wait to send them out. We had to get them earlier than usual because they will now go to our calligrapher who will do all of the addresses as well as the names for the inner envelope. I wanted to give her ample time to do this but also pad in lots of time so we never feel rushed in our timeline.

In other wedding news, today is my first dress fitting. I'm so excited to get things started! I haven't been surprised by much in terms of cost just because I know the ballpark of things (because of my past job) however, I was floored at the cost of alterations. I feel like that's saying something because my measurements are an exact size so there really aren't a ton of things that even need to be done.

And one more wedding item this week! Tomorrow, I'm meeting with Mosaic Linens who we are using for our wedding linens and we will be finalizing everything! Susie, the owner of Mosaic is the best and she is actually going to let me bring you all along with me. So I'll share the process/showroom and more with you guys. We have our floral mock-up later this month and I'll try to bring you along for a little of that, too (without giving too much away). Basically, there's a wedding item each week from now until our day, which is so fun, but I am also looking forward to having time back to myself after the wedding.

Wearing: I've been wearing my classic trench a lot lately considering the temperatures have been so mild. It instantly makes any outfit look more polished.
Eating: I got the best surprise from Baked by Melissa yesterday. These cupcake minis are INCREDIBLE. Seriously, if you are looking for a unique treat for Valentine's Day, this is it. My fiancé is obsessed with them, too. 

Reading: You need to watch this Super Bowl ad and then read this article. So freaking cool. 

The Ugly Dachshund Little Black Dress
Watching: I watched 'The Ugly Dachshund' on Disney Plus. It's a movie from 1966 and it gave me Bewitched vibes- a sitcom that I LOVE and watch all of the time. The main character's wardrobe is so beautiful, but this little black dress stole the show. I couldn't find a single proper photo of it online so I took these (horrible) photos of my TV screen to show you all. It's hard to see but it' was a tiered tulle skirt and the back dipped low in the back. Obsessed.

Watching II: I loved Google's Super Bowl ad. So touching. 

Listening: Did you catch Monday's post where I shared my top favorite Spotify playlists?

Loving: My go-to black-tie gown is back in stock in all sizes. I wear this to SO much. 

Wanting: I ordered so many things this week to try out. Our honeymoon is going to be a challenge to pack for so I'm trying to be strategic in ordering a few pieces here and there to see what works.
Trying: I'm trying out Goop's overnight glow peel. I've been very into using a Glycolic pad/treatment at least once a week but plan on ramping that up as we get closer to the wedding. I tried this for the first time this week and I love it so far. It's comparable to the Dr. Dennis Gross pads I love so much but this might be better because it's only 1 step instead of two. 

Quoting: 'Don't worry about the people who aren't happy for you. They probably aren't happy for themselves either.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wedding Wednesday: Beauty, Skincare Wellness


If you search for articles about beauty tips and treatments leading up to your wedding, you'd be astounded by how many suggestions there are and most are high-maintenance or very pricey. Brides want to look their absolute best on their wedding day (myself included) but I think a lot of the suggestions around the web (when it comes to beauty/skincare) are drastic or involve way too much money. 

On the other hand, I definitely believe that you need to feel your best to look your best so if a pricey beauty treatment makes you feel your best, then it's worth it. If a high-maintenance routine makes you feel best- then you do it. I am a firm believer in doing what you need to do that will make you feel your best- and not just for skincare or beauty but for all facets of your life.

With that said, I'm personally not one running to the medical spa or anything like that to get ready for my wedding. I have been very into skincare for a long time now and I have found that a truly good skincare routine that I strictly follow every single day. It works for me. My skin has honestly never looked better (knock on wood) and I attribute that to the daily upkeep that I do through a regimented routine. 

Today I am going to share what I have been doing leading up to our wedding in terms of all things beauty, skincare, and overall wellness. This is going to sound high maintenance, but most of this list is what I do already regardless if I was getting married or not. 

Go to the Dermatologist
I go to the derm at least once a year. Once, to make sure my skin is in good health, but also because I think it is essential to keep a good relationship going with a derm you trust because you never know when a skin issue will pop up. I got engaged in December 2019, and in March 2019, I saw my derm. I chatted with her about what I should be doing over the next year+ to ensure that my skin was in tip-top shape for the wedding and I always go through the products I am using to make sure they're all approved by her. In keeping a good connection with your derm/the office, if anything pops up during your engagement or even the week or day before your wedding, you'll know exactly who to call to get something taken care of! I'll go back to my derm again in the next few weeks for a yearly check-up and again ask her for any recommendations in the next few months leading up to our wedding. 

Keep Up With a Routine and Be Regimented 
I didn't necessarily start a routine because I've always had one going. I ALWAYS take off my makeup each night. I try not to wear makeup as much as possible to let my skin breathe. I regularly 'shave my face' aka at home dermaplaning. I do my morning and nighttime skincare routines every. single. day. I think the #1 most important thing to get your skin in its best shape is to be strict with your regimen. I have products that I know to use when I feel a breakout coming on. I have products that I know to use if my face is feeling overly dry. I also know that I do a strong glycolic acid peel at home once per week, but plan to ramp that up to twice a week as we get closer. You just need to get to know your products and your skin and I really think that's the beginning and end of a lot it. 

Pay Attention to Your Body
I've never been good at remembering to apply lotion over my entire body but for the last 6 months, I have been religious about it. I'm sure to moisturize every inch of my skin so it's healthy and hydrated. Not only that, but I have also been paying really close attention to my chest/neck/shoulders and instead of using my typical Cetaphil body lotion, I've been using Olay Regenerist as it is anti-aging and contains niacinamide. It's a little pricier to use on larger parts of my body, but I won't be doing this forever. 

Collagen Peptides
I wrote an article about the collagen peptides that I take, here. It's a few years old but it's all still true. I primarily take it because I believe it helps dramatically with my joint pain (bad knees from cheerleading). But on top of that, I love the added 18g of protein that you get from one serving. It's an easy way to get in extra protein so I drink this right after my workout. It is also supposed to be beneficial for your nails and hair. I actually find it annoying because it makes my nails and hair grow too fast! But that might be a benefit for someone that has slow hair/nail growth. 

Get Enough Sleep
You all just read about my sleep journey, here. Getting enough, good sleep has been vital in me living an all-around healthier life. I'm rested, I have more energy to put into my day-to-day life but also my workouts. Good sleep is supposed to help regulate your metabolism, your mood, and so much more. I could not recommend focusing on sleep more as a part of your wedding prep. You'll be amazed by how much it positively affects you. 

Spray Tan
I don't do spray tans unless I have a big event coming up. I never mess with at-home self-tanners, either. In the winter months, I just let myself be naturally pale and I'm 100% OK with it. I'm also wild about sunscreen and especially in the summer, so I'm never naturally that tan. I plan on getting a spray tan for our wedding but I am scheduled to get a 'trial' before our shower so I know what level of color I want. I am not really getting a spray tan to look tan- I don't want much color,  but when you get a light spray tan, it kind of acts as body makeup and can hide any slight imperfections. I think making sure you do a trial run before your actual wedding day is SO important. All I can think of is Ross in the episode of Friends where he goes into a tanning booth, ha!!! Honestly, trialing anything and everything is important- I don't plan on doing anything at all for the first time the month of our wedding. 

Getting Highlights
This is a regular for me, but I'm including it anyway. I go about every 6 weeks to get highlights but my stylist and I chatted about a plan of attack in the months leading up to the wedding. I usually only get a half head of highlights because I have no patience when doing the entire head. I have so much hair that to do my entire head basically takes a day out of my life. However, for the wedding, I want my entire head done, which we have to work up to, appointment-by-appointment. We also strategized in terms of hair cuts and what length we would keep it at for the wedding so, at each appointment, she knows when to cut. 

Nails
I plan on letting my nails breathe a lot from now until the wedding so that they can be healthy! I went all of January without a manicure and plan to let them go polish-free for as much time as possible. I already know what color I plan on getting my nails done in for our wedding, but if you don't, this is definitely something I suggest you figure out before you get your nails done for your wedding. There have been too many times where I chose a color and once it was done on my nails, I did not love it. 

Eyelash Extensions
I wrote a full post about this, here. I am getting eyelash extensions for our wedding. I currently get them done so this is nothing new.

Trials
I have my makeup and hair trials this month and next month. I am picky with both of these things, so I have already worked out with my makeup artist that I will be picking my own lip color/etc. I plan on playing with lip colors that day so I can land on exactly what I want. These are also scheduled with plenty of time before the wedding so if there needs to be a second trial, there is time. 

Letting My Eyebrows Grow Out
I haven't touched my eyebrows with tweezers or anything in a few months (they look terrible, but it's worth it) and won't touch them until I get closer to the wedding so that they can be as naturally full as possible. I don't get my eyebrows waxed or anything at all... I just tweeze them myself. 

Teeth Whitening
I already use Crest Whitestrips once or twice a year, but I'll do a strip here and there as a 'touch up'. So that's what I will continue to do! My teeth are white so they don't need much. 

Fitness
You all already know I've been doing Orange Theory. I love it so much and it's not only benefitted me in the way I look but more importantly, the way I feel. I feel so incredibly in shape right now and so good about myself and my body. I know that feeling will only increase as we get closer to the wedding. Stress also tends to age you, bloat you, and mess with your skin, so I feel as though this has kept my stress levels low, too! 

Drink Water
I have been SO good about this in the past few months. Just like sleep, there are so many benefits of being well-hydrated and it's easy to do.
 

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