Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Advice from former Brides 2/2


A while ago, I took to Instagram stories to ask those of you who have already married two questions:

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently about your wedding day?

What is ONE thing that you were so glad you did that you recommend to other brides?

I personally think it is so fun to hear from past brides and learn from them because there is often a lot you don't think about unless you have already gone through it yourself!

So, today I'm sharing the responses I got for the second question. I got SO many responses so I'm paraphrasing and keeping everyone's privacy.  The difference between these responses and the responses to the first question that I posed is that these answers were much more specific and not as many people said the same things- there was much more variety to these answers!

You can read the responses to the first question, here

What is one thing that you were glad you did that you recommend to other brides?

- Hire a Videographer. This mirrors what everyone said about their regret of not having a videographer. Basically, these two posts are good PR for videographers everywhere, ha!! Many people were so glad that they had the full video of all of the speeches as well as some were glad to have the rehearsal dinner speeches recorded, too. We hired a videographer and we are so excited to have those memories forever. 

- Splurge on things that matter to you and not others. 

- Ignored unsolicited advice. This was something that a LOT of you said. I feel like you are always bound to get a lot of unsolicited advice about everything in life- whether you are pregnant and other moms give you the advice you didn't ask for, you're dating someone and someone gives you the advice you don't agree with, etc. It definitely applies to planning a wedding- there is SO much advice out there and it can get frustrating and sometimes cloud your own judgment. 

- Have your caterer pack you to-go meals to take back to your room with you at the end of the night. I LOVE THIS ONE! So many people say they don't eat on their wedding day and it would be such a fun treat to indulge in your wedding food just the two of you. You are bound to be hungry after a few cocktails and all of that dancing. 

- Go to cocktail hour. I loved that so many of you went to your cocktail hour. We fully intend to go to ours, too. We don't want to miss out! 

- Have a second pair of shoes for the reception. I fully agree with this- nothing is fun if your feet hurt. 

- Do a first look/ don't do a first look. This went both ways! In my opinion, a first look or no first look is a very personal decision. You can read about our decision, here

- Many suggested to sneak off and spend time alone. Some said they had a room where they were delivered cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and enjoyed time alone during cocktail hour. Some said they went to a private room with champagne just for 10 minutes (no photog). Some said that they danced at the very end of the night, just the two of them without an audience. Some said they just stood in the corner with their husbands and took it all in. 

 - When you are walking down the aisle, look at your groom and try not to look at the guests. It makes for better photos and will really let you focus on him. This is something I would not have thought of but it makes sense! 

- Don't change dresses. You only wear your wedding dress once. I think this totally depends on the person/type of ceremony/reception/etc. But I personally won't be changing- I LOVE my dress. 

- Hire a planner. Fully 100% agree on this one. If I hadn't done any planning before, we would have hired one! 

- Leave a time period in between your wedding and honeymoon. Many people said a week, some said a few days, some said months! 

- No one will know you wanted 5 candles per table rather than 3 candles or more pink flowers than white. This was just an example, but the lesson is to stay relaxed and let things go. 

- Spend the entire night with your husband. There were lots of variations of this and I love it. After all, that is what the entire night is about!!! But truly, I can see how you could get separated a lot... talking to different people, bathroom breaks, big rooms, photos, etc. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hostess Gift Sale Finds


I've been running out of host/hostess gifts in my gift drawer lately. For those of you new here, I learned this really great tip from my mom and Grammie. Growing up, they always had a stash of gifts on hand. Whenever I was running out last minute to a party or whatever it was, they would always have the perfect gift stored away. 

I loved this idea and now do this on my own! I've written about it many times before and shared the type of things that I keep in the gift drawer. My biggest tip is to shop during big sales. Think Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Sephora Sale, Black Friday, after holidays, etc. I also love finding things at places like Homegoods! Basically, never pay full price!!

I have been stumbling upon items online lately that are all on sale and make the perfect addition to any gift drawer so I thought I would share. Stock up now to have on hand for summer events, but it's also nice to be fully stocked before the holidays so you are set if any last minute parties come up. And when in need, a bottle of wine/bubbly is always appropriate! 

An item I wanted to highlight is this Nest Candle. It's 3-Wick and usually priced at $68.. but is available for $30! You can get creative, too! This beautiful blue and white Melamine platter is on sale right now for $20. It's great on its own, but you could bring over a platter of cookies with a little note saying that the platter is theirs! This dish soap is only $7 and is beautifully packaged, add a sponge, wrap with cellophane and top with a bow and it makes the cutest little gift! I also love little sets like this because they are ready to go- plus at $15 with an extra 20% off, this is truly affordable! 

Ordering things off-season is another one of my favorite things to do because items are usually very inexpensive. For example, these pumpkin napkin rings are so cute. They were originally $7.99 but now marked down to $2.99. You might be thinking it's silly to buy pumpkin things in June, but you'll be glad you have them on hand come fall!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Catalog First Impressions

nordstrom anniversary sale 2019 catalog picks
I wrote a full post sharing the details of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for 2019The catalog has just been released this week so I thought I would share my initial thoughts and some of the items from the sale that I love the most.

I did a mini poll on Instagram and it looks like most of you are shopping the Nordstrom sale this year, but I also promise not to shove the sale down your throats. I'll share my favorites and style a few pieces and do a try-on with sizing and quality info!

Last year I was truly a bit underwhelmed. There were some real gems, but overall, I was left unimpressed. So, I'm hoping for a good Nordstrom Sale this year! 

I say this every year, but for the sale, I typically focus on higher price points because that is where you are saving the most. Think beautiful fall/winter coats, cashmere sweaters, leather handbags and shoes, even fine jewelry! I also love love love the beauty sets because they are always a good value. 

In terms of the catalog, this is just a small sample of items that will be included. So if you don't see anything you love, there is SO much more on Nordstrom's website when the sale goes live! Apologies for the grainy images, I pulled them right from the catalog and that is the highest quality I could get! I noticed tons of plaid (YAY!) and lots of animal prints which aren't really my thing, but if they are yours, you are in luck! I love a pop of leopard every once in a while, but there was a lot of snakeskin and I do not like that at all.

Plaid Coat// On page 9, $198 orig. $300. This is so beautiful and such a classic. I can't wait to find out the fabric details but I am guessing it will be made of nice fabric considering it is Kenneth Cole! On page 20, there is a similar coat by Halogen for $118 if you want that similar look but for less. 

Cashmere Sweater// On page 12, $187, orig. $279. I am SO excited about this one. This sweater looks exactly like the Vince one I bought several years ago. It is one of my most worn and most loved sweaters ever. They are showing it in a deep red, but it also says 'more colors'. I'm hoping they have some great neutrals and also hoping the cashmere is similar quality to my Vince sweater. 

Tweed Jacket// On page 25. Price is $99, and will go up to $149 after the sale. I love anything tweed and this is a nice plaid because it will dress up jeans and a tee or can be dressed up and worn to the office! 

AG Ex-Boyfriend Jeans// Page 35, $149, orig $225. I bought these a few Nordstrom Sales ago and I LOVE them. They are so flattering and comfortable. Also, the price point is really great and a big saving because these are an AG style that comes back year after year. 

Pillow Talk Set// On page 43. This is one of my all-time favorite lip colors and it is a cult favorite among many. This is a set where you get the lip cheat liner, gloss, and matte lipstick. I have the liner and lipstick and have almost used the liner up. The price for this set is great and the color is such a good everyday color. I could not recommend it more. I am not a lip liner gal in that I don't use it to line my lips, but rather fill them in. It adds color and then also helps to keep whatever I put overtop on for much longer! 

Activewear// On page 47. I love Alo Yoga so I'm glad to see some of those products and especially this basic crew neck sweatshirt. I also think these Adidas sneakers are so cute and I am pretty loyal to Adidas when it comes to my sneakers.

Ugg Booties// On page 41. I oddly love these. Ugg boots may not be the most stylish thing but for Pittsburgh winters, they are a necessity and I love my Ugg boots like no other. These would be great for slippers as they are just $99 and will go up to $150 after the sale. The only time I really ever see Uggs on sale is well after Christmas, so if you like these, snag them now as you are likely not going to find these going back on sale. There are Ugg slippers (slides) on page $49 for a really great price of $54 and will go up to $84 after the sale. I don't like the bright coral color that they are advertising but if they come in a neutral, this is a good buy! 

Diamond Bangle Bracelet// On page 14. This is a pricey buy, but if you are looking for a beautiful piece of fine jewelry, this is it. They had this in the sale last year and I also highlighted it then. It is $1645 and will go back up to $2195 after the sale. I have a bracelet very similar to this and I wear it 24/7. I never ever take it off and it's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry ever. There is also a signet ring on the same page similar to the one I wear daily. The price is great, too, as it is well under $1000. 

** note that the links do not take you to the actual products because they won't be available until the sale goes live! These just take you to the catalog so you can see the items yourself. 

Some things to note...
- It looks like Hunter Boots will be on sale for $100- regularly $150! 
- Halogen brand cashmere sweaters will be priced at $49.50, after the sale they will be $69. The cashmere on these is usually not the highest of quality but a nice price point for a gift or if you want an elevated work basic. 
- On page 49 there is a cute basic navy pajama set. At $35, they make a great gift and they could also be great for bridesmaids the morning of your wedding! 
- I love the Blackwatch coat on page 18! It's $199 and regularly $300. 
- On page 49, they show the Natori Feathers bra in bright pink for just $44. This is one of my favorite bras and the price is great. It says more colors so I am hoping there are neutrals to choose from. Oddly enough, it looks like that exact bra is on sale for $40 right now... interesting. But really the bra is amazing and I love the color cosmetic because it is the perfect nude. 
- The Dyptique candles are back. There is a set (on page 43) but I don't recommend. They are 1.2 oz candles, aka the size of a shot glass. They sometimes offer larger candles in a different set and that is the better value! During the Nordstrom sale, when it comes to candles and beauty products, you need to pay attention to the product size. Sometimes they are SO small and you aren't really getting a great deal. 
- I say this every year but some brands specifically make products for the Nordstrom sale. Usually, these items are of lesser quality, so you just want to keep that in mind if you order something and it's not the quality you are used to from that brand. 

1 Headband, 3 Ways


1 Headband, 3 Ways

1 Headband, 3 Ways

how to style a headband

I might be a headband's biggest fan. I've worn them since I was very young and I think the reason I love them so much is that it keeps hair out of my face. I also went through a 'wear a headband everyday' phase during the Gossip Girl days, anyone else?! 

I wear my hair down a lot, but it drives me nuts when my hair is in my face. A headband is a stylish way to still wear your hair down with minimal effort. I actually find it perfect for second-day hair, too! 

In the past year, though, the knotted headband trend has been popping up. You all know I'm not usually one for a trend, but every once in a while, I like to try something new. 

I snagged this pink grosgrain headband for just $25. I thought I wasn't going to like the headband. The knot in the middle kind of reminds me of a unicorn horn because they are so big, haha!!

I wore it around and it grew on me. I decided to keep it and it would be my one 'trendy' item... and for $25, I don't really mind if I don't wear it next year. 

I think the key to wearing this type of statement accessory is to keep everything else minimal. Simple or no earrings, minimal jewelry, etc. 


I also love that with headbands there are different ways you can wear them. The differences are subtle but it definitely changes up the look! 

From top photo to bottom, I'll share some notes about how to wear it! 

1. This is my favorite way to wear a headband. I leave my hair in its usual part and tuck both sides behind my ears and add the headband. I find this to be the 'preppier' way to wear it and I also think it looks very clean and simple. 

2. This is how my mom used to put headbands in our hair as children. It's not my favorite, but it looks so good on some people! You just tip your head back and run your fingers through your hair so that you get rid of any part. Slide the headband onto your head so that it smoothes your hair as you put it on. 

3. I think this is the most stylish way to rock a headband and is very Blair Waldorf. you just style your hair down as you would usually wear it and add the headband by putting it straight down so no hair is being pulled back. I like to tuck my hair behind my ear on the side with less hair.

Next up, I'm curious to try a hat band! Have you all heard of them? Princess Kate wears them and they look so good on her! It's definitely a look, and I think there is a time and a place for it, but I'm curious to see if it's something I would ever wear. I'll report back! 

More Headbands I Love:

 

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