Monday Links to Love

We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone

* Instagram is my new favorite because there are people like this “gothic bake queen” who make my day

* Art + hip hop = amazing tumblr

* Nick and I aren’t taking a road trip this year but one of these routes is on my radar for next year

* Rethink homelessness

* Since I just started running again: five tips for preventing injuries while running

* A beer-based motel? Book it!

* And on that note, how about booking one of these other boozy destinations?

The First Wedding Craft! My Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Oh boy, more wedding planning stuff. I swear I have all sorts of blog posts cooking on the back burner but I just really wanted to share my very first wedding craft. Mostly because I’m super proud of them and also because this was one of the least stressful tasks I’ve done so far. Actually, if I’m being honest, nothing has been that stressful thus far. I mostly put the stress on myself trying to make everything perfect. I just have to remember that in the end, when I see Nick at the end of the aisle and celebrate with all my family and friends, it will be totally perfect.

Now back to my first craft: bridesmaid ask gifts. Since this will be my only wedding I want to take advantage of all the projects I’ve wanted to do for years and go all out (as much as my budget will allow, of course). Asking the girls to be my maids was probably something I was most excited to do. All over Pinterest I’d seen different ways to ask the girls to be your bridesmaids from wine bottles to engraved bracelets. What I really liked was the idea of doing a bridesmaid “kit” that gives the girls an idea of what my big day will be like. So I decided to do a bridesmaid box for the girls to open and find out that I wanted them to be by my side on the big day.

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

The boxes I picked out were three dollar photo boxes from Michael’s. I wanted these because they were plain and I could customize them from top to bottom. Then I got comfy in front of the tv and hand-painted the stripes on and stenciled the monogram. While it did take awhile to do the stripes, I love how they turned out. Our wedding doesn’t have a theme but I am adamant about integrating navy and white stripes into the decor. So maybe stripes is our theme?

Inside I included a couple of cute things to get the girls excited and ready for the year ahead. I did $1 navy flip flops from Old Navy, coral nail polish, and a 2015 calendar which was a lucky find in the cheapie section at Michael’s. Now I have two bridesmaids who are not of age and two that are. For my girls that are of age I included a little bottle of raspberry sparkling wine with a striped straw. Everyone needs a little champagne and stripes in their life don’t you think? My underage ladies got a charm necklace which I promptly wanted to steal back for myself. But I was a nice bride and let them keep it.

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Even though all the little gifts were cute, my favorite part had to be the notes I wrote to each girl. Two of the girls are my best friends from high school and middle school, who have been there through thick and thin. When do you honestly get a chance to write a love note to your girl loves? I feel like I probably need to do this more often.

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

I did boxes for the girls I knew I was going to be able to see and ask in person. The fourth person is my beautiful cousin who lives in Texas and I decided it was better to just ask her and then send her something smaller in the mail. Flip flops are heavy you know! Plus with her travelling here for the wedding I wanted her to have something she could bring with her. I found a plain canvas bag and dressed it up a bit. I’m in love with how it turned out! Even though the bag was difficult to paint and even more to actual get it to the post office, this might have been my favorite gift.

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Bridesmaid Ask Gifts

Doing these bridesmaid ask gifts has me itching to start all sorts of wedding DIY projects. I know I say this now and in a couple of months you’ll be reading a post about how I need to outsource these crafts to someone else. But let me bask in the glory of a beautiful first wedding craft.

Monday Links to Love

clouds and castle jersey shore

Summer seems to be flying by in a flurry of wedding planning and beach playing. I’m a little late to posting today because we just booked our wedding photographers! That and I was lazy this afternoon. Bravo tv is just sucking me in this summer! I come home from morning summer school and all I feel like doing is watching some bleach blonde drama. Well, this is my official rallying cry to get off the couch and get stuff done! Happy (motivated) Monday!

* What type of friend are you?

* Habits fit people have that you can have too

* I’m trying to limit my wedding links but I think this is an adorable gift list for your bridesmaids

* This is exactly right: why kids don’t sit still in school

* I’m in love with this: freshman year of college, before and after

Wearing: Circus, Circus

Circus, Circus

Circus Circus

Circus, Circus

Circus, Circus

dress: vintage, bag: target, sandals: dsw, earrings and sunglasses: f21

I have never been to the circus nor do I have any desire ever to go. When I went away to college I made friends with a girl in my dorm who thought never having been to the circus was strange and I thought just the opposite. Do people really still go to the circus? If the circus was like the one in Water for Elephants or The Night Circus, I would be the first in line for a ticket. Needless to say, I’m not a circus person unless it comes to this dress. This vintage circus print dress is courtesy of my mom. She picked it up in a Martha’s Vineyard shop when I was just a baby and I was so excited when she passed it on to me. Seriously, all my best clothes come from Mom! While I remembered to grab a detail of the print and cute tie pockets, I forget to capture the cute black-buttoned halter back so you’ll just have to imagine it.

I wore this dress on one of those quiet Sundays where Nick and I decide to visit a good brunch spot in Philly and just stroll. This weekend is shaping up to be one of those “quiet” weekends again though we still have plenty to do. Our to-do list includes shopping for a new car for Nick, some wedding things like DJs and the guest list, and getting in some “us time.” I added in that last one since I feel like our life has been pretty eaten up by the beginning stages of wedding planning and I want us to have a little time just being ourselves together. I’m ready for this quiet weekend to begin.

Wedding Brain

image by André Teixeira, Brancoprata via style me pretty

Maybe this is what they call bridal bliss but I’m not so sure about that. I have been engaged to my wonderful man for one month exactly and since he popped the question I feel like my life has turned into wedding, wedding, wedding all the time. Of course the stress is only natural when I want a summer wedding, next year, in New Jersey. Apparently I should have known it would be stressful all along and Nick should have proposed last Fall when all the other brides began booking their big day a year and a half in advance. My only consolation is that I have no desire for an October wedding which is even worse to plan. The past month has made me feel like I’ve popped into a completely different world of price per person, tulle, and table linens.

It has been stressful, particularly finding the perfect venue (and one that was available and not overpriced), but it’s also been wonderful too. I have always loved weddings and now I can finally indulged without feeling awkward about it. When I talked about weddings before being engaged, everyone assumed I wanted to be engaged even though I just loved to see how people style their big day. Now I am able to dig in deep and revel in all the beauty. I can daydream about next summer and how handsome Nick will look and the smiling faces of all my friends and family.

Something that was surprisingly wonderful was meeting with the Deacon at our church. We decided on a religious ceremony mostly because it’s important to me to start our marriage with faith and Nick has always been supportive despite our different religious backgrounds. We have several meetings before the big day but we began talking about our marriage. And even though I know that the end deal is to call Nick my husband, it suddenly became a really big thought. We are entering into something so much more than one day; it’s a lifetime. While it might have been very pretty and unique to have our ceremony at our venue, I feel like there’s so much more to having it at our church. There’s a gravity to it I never expected and it feels like my life as a wife is starting. The commitment is real and wonderful and important. I am having a wedding but I am also gaining a husband and a life partner. How amazing it is to have “wedding brain” and I apologize for any nonsense that might be written here in the next year!

Monday Links to Love

happythings:</p> <p>fuckyeahyellow:  kizian:  tegon: (via char-lotte)<br />

* We’re currently sweating it out here in humid NJ but I’m hoping to cool off by eating these foods

* I love that these tasty treats are called “cronots” and are incredibly easy to make for a summer treat

* It can be hard to make the time to write but when you do have time, make the most of it

* Working girl yoga poses to relieve that workplace stress

* I’m dying for a summer road trip to Nantucket just to try some of these sweet dining spots

* Calling all brides-to-be: the ultimate guide to perfect hair, skin, and nails

Wearing: American Blue

American Blues

American Blues

American Blues

dress: american eagle (similar), heels: urban outfitters (similar), necklace: anthro (old)

It’s been about three weeks since I’ve done an outfit post and I’m so happy to be back at it. Of course when I was getting a post together I realized that it couldn’t just be any old outfit; it had to be patriotic for the fourth of July! I’ve only ever done one other patriotic post in nearly four years of blogging. I’m not quite sure why I’ve never indulged in the patriotic outfit fever that seems to make its way through the blogs this time of year but I have to confess that it’s secretly my favorite. I’m a sucker for themed fashion and I just swoon over all these red, white, and blue outfits. It also helps that the fourth is one of my favorite holidays, a close second to my all-time favorite, Christmas. But for fashion it definitely ranks first. The only fashion Christmas has is those holiday sweaters and, well, no, just no. The only thing I hate about this post is that you can’t really see the amazing seersucker texture of this dress. Though to be honest it’s better to feel that seersucker than just see it.

Now I will freely admit that this red, white, and blue outfit is much too dressy for my holiday plans. Nick and I plan to hit up not one but two holiday BBQs, both with pools, so I’ll be rocking a bikini and jean shorts for most of the day (as long as the weather holds!). While I love getting to see family and friends, the best part of the day is probably right now when Nick and I take our Starbucks run, I get a chance to read some blogs, and there’s a Walking Dead marathon on AMC. Sure I love all the Independence Day traditions like BBQs and beers but I also love having another summer day off.

Have an excellent fourth of July!