Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Shopping | For the Mr.

I cannot believe it's November. No, really! I live in Louisiana and just yesterday I had the air conditioner on. Are we SURE it's November? The calendar swears it's so, which means I'm WAY behind on my Christmas shopping! [Insert stress here.]

Couple the general anxiety that comes along for Christmas shopping with the fact that not one male between our two families, my husband's and mine, ever has any clue what they would want/need/like. All year long my husband sees things and always "needs" them. When Christmas comes and I ask him what it is he would like...then he's stumped. I'm super easy to buy a gift for. I love kitchen gadgets, I love handmade, I drink. You hit up William Sonoma, Etsy, or the liquor store, and you're all set to make me a happy camper! Why men, why must you be so difficult?

Since I have a feeling I'm not the only one out there who ends up stumped as to what's a good gift for the fellas, I've curated a list of perfect gifts for those perfect men in our lives.

One Wooden Six Pack Carrier | Two Hooked On You Lure
Three Zombie Repellant Soap | Four Leather Passport Cover
For more ideas visit our Etsy treasury here!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Marketing Your Business With Pinterest


Social media has become a huge marketing source for many companies, big and small. Celebrities use websites like Twitter to endorse products for companies. Big brands use Facebook to engage with their audience and promote their new products. You can even purchase ads and start paid campaigns to increase your visibility on Facebook & Twitter. But what about Pinterest? This is a site where you can create individual boards and pin relative content within it. It's basically a digital inspiration board. People use Pinterest for everything to weight loss to decorating rooms in their homes. With all the amazing content available, it's no wonder Pinterest has become a go-to resource on what products to buy and what products to avoid.

Pinterest is an excellent, FREE resource for you to use to promote your products and your content. You can now convert your existing Pinterest account to a business account or you can create an entirely new business account by visiting business.Pinterest.com. By creating a business account you can track your engagements, traffic, and visibility through analytics. If you've ever used Google Analytics on your website, you know just how beneficial this can be to gauge who your audience is, what do they enjoy, and what time are they viewing your content. You need to know who your audience is and what they are interested in, to work smarter. You don't want to create content that your audience is disinterested in. You want to spend your time wisely, creating valuable content they will enjoy. You also want to know what time they are viewing your content. If you receive a lot of views later in the evening during the weekdays, you're going to want to post your content around that time. Or maybe you're getting a lot of hits mid day on the weekends. You want to be mindful of when you're audience is seeing your content, because you don't want them to miss something you post during the weekday, if 90% of your audience is online during the weekend. (This isn't to say that your content isn't SOOO good that people are willing to back track through 5 days of pins to find your goodies.)


So where do you even start? How do you build traffic to your Pinterest? Thinking about marketing your business can be stressful, can seem hard, and if you're not utilizing your time properly, it can feel like a wasted effort. This is why we create relevant content! Unfortunately you can't always load up 50 boards with your products and get thousands of likes. You want to pin relevant content and you want to create unique content. This can be tips, inspiration boards, contests, or free downloads. Whatever it is, you want it to be useful. Think about the products that you most enjoy. Do you enjoy them because they are useful or do you enjoy them because they are just there? We are more likely to engage with something that is useful versus just there. When you're pinning your content, be mindful that you're using good captions and relevant keywords. This comes in handy when people are searching for something similar.

I leverage Pinterest frequently. Pinterest not only has translated into viewership for my blog, but it's also translated into sales for my products. How do I leverage this website? I promote giveaways, freebies, and sales. Not only are these great methods to BUILD your audience, but it's also a nice way for you to say thank you to the audience you already have (and your future audience as well.) Each month I track what's the most popular content on my blog. Can you guess the pattern that I have found? Whether it's a recipe, a printable, an inspiration board, or a giveaway, all of my most popular posts are HIGHLY trafficked through Pinterest. For example, this month one of my recipes has 4883 pageviews. Can you guess how many are from Pinterest? More than 50%. That's not traffic I've paid for. That's traffic coming straight from the people who are pinning, re-pinning, or just searching. Not only have I been able to connect with an amazing audience, I've also had big brands contact me because of what they've seen me creating on Pinterest. Pinterest is no longer just your girlfriends posting cheeky quotes and cocktails. Businesses, like yourself, and big brands are also taking advantage of Pinterest, and some of them might want to collaborate with you.


And what's the simplest way to ensure you're maximizing your content? PIN-IT BUTTONS! I cannot stress enough how important it is that people can EASILY pin your content. Today I might not have time to sit and go over a post you've written on, say, "How to Create a Less Stressful Work Environment." Well, because I'm someone who's always looking for ways to be less stressed and more efficient in my office, this is something I'm going to want to come back to. I want to be on your page and pin it directly. I don't want to copy your URL, go to Pinterest, paste your URL, and upload it. I just want a simple process, and by taking a few short minutes to make that possible, you're going to make A LOT more people, than just myself, happy that they can easily pin your content.

Don't waste your time, make a plan to use your time more wisely.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Brown Sugar Bourbon Glazed Tenderloin


Do you see that amazing color under the bacon? If you haven't tried the Grill Mates® Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade, this is the perfect time to try it! It's an enticing blend of sweet brown sugar, bourbon, red bell peppers and spices (and it goes great with everything.) Not only is this a super tasty recipe, but it's super easy as well.

Ingredients
- 1 pkt. Grill Mates® Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade
- Pork tenderloin
- Thick cut bacon

Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Season both sides of your tenderloin with your spice packet, evenly. Gently pat the spices so they stick well to your tenderloin.
2. Wrap your tenderloin in your thick cut bacon. Splurge for the thicker cut, you won't regret it.
3. Place in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. You want the internal temperature of your tenderloin to reach 160°F.
4. At 30 minutes I turned the heat up to 375°F and let the bacon crisp up even more.
5. Allow your meat to rest for 10-15 minutes, so you don't lose all your amazing juices.
6. Cut, serve, and ENJOY!

This post was in no way endorsed by Grill Mates®. These are my opinions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Free Meal Planning Printable


Download the free printable here!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Holiday Card Collection

We've worked diligently to bring some fun and trendy designs into our 2013 holiday collection. We hope you enjoy them! Visit the full collection here. Receive 15% Off when you use coupon code: SALE15 at checkout!

Who doesn't love to receive a beautiful holiday card? All hail the power of snail mail!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Empire State Building Wedding

The Empire State Building is partnering with RedEnvelope and ProFlowers to give three lucky couples the wedding or vow renewals of a lifetime atop the world-famous Empire State Building. Who hasn't watched Sleepless in Seattle and dreamed about meeting their true love at the top of the Empire State Building? So romantic and iconic. To learn more about this amazing contest check out the app here.

When we think about the Empire State Building, we think romantic, majestic, timeless. We've created an Inspiration Board with that theme in mind.


One Empire State of Love Invitations | Two Empire State Building Wedding Cake
Three Personalized Wine Bucket | Four Empire State Building Photo
Five Majestic Centerpieces | Six Wedding Macarons

For more of our Empire State Building Wedding Picks, visit Pinterest.
A big thanks to RedEnvelope and their gorgeous gifts for helping us with our PINspiration!

Fluffy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Cookies are the best medicine. Had a bad breakup? Bake some cookies. Failed your exam? Bake some cookies. Stubbed your toe? Bake some cookies. I think you get the idea. There is just nothing that can beat a soft, warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie. When my husband came home from work yesterday and said he wasn't feeling good, I knew exactly what would make him feel better; COOKIES (and maybe some Aleve.)

Directions
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with your silicon baking mat.
- Melt your butter, let cool slightly, and whisk it into your sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Sift your flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly stir your dry ingredients, into your wet with your wooden spoon. You don't want to over mix your dough, just incorporate the two.
- Stir in your chocolate chips.
- Using a small cookie scoop, place your dough balls about 2 inches apart on your silicone baking mat.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (15 minutes if you like your cookies crunchier.)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Christmas Party Inspiration


One Eat Drink & Be Merry Invitations | Two Festive Drinks | Three Snowman Tutu
Four Marshmallow Pops | Five Candy Bar

Friday, October 18, 2013

Teespring Review

So, what exactly is Teespring? Teespring is a crowdfunding platform for groups, causes and communities to design and sell custom apparel. Anyone can come and design a shirt which they can then sell via Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else online. The seller keeps all of the profit the shirt earns. People use Teespring as a fundraising tool or just to earn some extra money. The best part is the shirts don't print and ship until a set end date determined by the seller.

Whether you are trying to raise money for a school event, a project, or a charity Teespring is a great platform to help you reach your goals. They require absolutely NO commitment up front. (Seriously, NONE.) There are no hidden fees and they don't ask you to supply them with your credit card information. All that is required of you is to launch your campaign! Well how is this even possible?" Teespring makes a flat fee per each shirt sale versus a percentage of your profit margin.

From there, they have made the process so incredibly simple. The design tool has thousands of options for you to choose from, or you can upload something you've designed yourself/had designed. After you've uploaded your design, you can select the color and type of tee you'd like your design printed on. Teespring will then help you set up your goals with the estimated profit. You'll then be prompted to put together your informational page for your campaign. In no time your campaign will be launched and you can start promoting it! If you're raising money for a non-profit, Teespring will work with you to put a pretty "verified campaign" button on your campaign page. This shows that 100% of your proceeds will be donated directly the non-profit.

I put together my own campaign to help raise money for No Kid Hungry. I contacted Teespring to verify my campaign and they were so prompt to respond, extremely helpful, and very pleasant to work with. I have been very pleased with my experience with Teespring thus far and look forward to following this company! Admitedly, I've had just as much fun looking at some of the amazing designs and charities that work with Teespring as I've had using Teespring! Great experience all around.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

King Cake Inspired Cupcakes

One of my favorite little fellas is turning six on November 9th. I LOVE King Cake but this little dude, well, I think it's safe to say he's the King Cake's biggest fan. He went through 11 last year alone! I decided to make it my goal to try to squeeze the amazing King Cake flavors into a cupcake! They didn't win Mr. Carter over completely, but since they all went quickly, I think we can say I got close enough!

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
Reserve for swirling:
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. sugar

Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/5 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 lbs. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Cake:
1. Allow your butter and eggs to come to room temperature and line your muffin tin.
2. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
3. In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In another bowl, beat your butter on medium-high speed, for about 20 seconds. Add in your sugar, vanilla, and lemon and beat on medium-high speed until your mixture is light and fluffy. Add in your eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Alternate adding in your buttermilk and flour, scraping down the sides as needed, until combined.
5. Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 of the way with your batter. Sprinkle a bit of your cinnamon sugar mixture on the top of each cupcake, and swirl it into your cupcakes with a toothpick.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Icing:
1. Cream together your softened cream cheese, vegetable shortening, and your butter.
2. Add in your vanilla and slowly add in your powdered sugar, mixing on low speed. Add additional powdered sugar until your icing has reached your desired consistency.
3. Decorate and ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Plastidermy Giveaway

I ran across Plastidermy on Etsy by complete accident (but a very happy accident.) I immediately fell in love with their unique take on taxidermy! Not only do I absolutely adore what they do, their story really touched that special place in my heart where I hold my childhood memories!
So how did Plastidermy come to life? Mary and her husband had been literally toying with some ideas on how to repurpose childhood items. They both had some really memorable toys as children that they parted with, that they wish they could somehow resurrect and bring into their adulthood. With that in mind, they knew that maybe that was a feeling other adults could identify with. So after a few long car drives and brainstorms they came up with Plastidermy. It's a way of incorporating childhood mementos into our daily lives in a very quirky but adult like way.

Their inspirations come from that feeling you had when you were a kid building forts in the living room and pretending you had magical powers, that kind of limitless abandon is what inspires them. Mary and her husband, both, suffer from the "Peter Pan" syndrome to some degree and thrive in that childlike enchantment. Their childhoods were spent playing outside and imagining the impossible, and now that they are adults they both let that experience inspire them to create things which are age appropriate but not absent of fun.

They have been kind enough to offer one of their 5x7 3D Golden Triceratops art pieces to one lucky winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Our entire workspace looks like a plastic animal horror story and we are basically the serial killers. We chop and saw all of the animals in half or cut off their heads to incorporate those pieces into our work. We are left with unused halves and decapitated plastic animals and it looks kind of sad. The whole process of working the animals can be a little sad because in a way we are destroying the toys from their original state and working them into something new. We have a sleuth of super glue frenzy horror stories in which we were harmed, not the animals."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Circus Birthday Party Inspiration


One Ticket Style Circus Invitations | Two Circus Fabric Tutu | Three Circus Cake
Four Circus Peanuts | Five Ringmaster Whips

Visit our Pinterest for more Circus Birthday Party Inspiration!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Clear Skin For Life Contest | Truth In Aging

Truth In Aging is giving away Clear Skin For Life (over $500 value) to two lucky winners. Stop using toxic and/or chemical lotions and start treating your acne with FDA approved devices from Quasar that really work.

(This contest is open to U.S. residents only. You must be 18 years or older to enter.
Click the image above to enter to win!)

Truth in Aging is a beauty site with a mission to provide the honest truth about beauty and personal care products. Its founder, Marta Wohrle, had a bathroom full of products that promised a lot and delivered little. So she decided to teach herself about which anti-aging ingredients worked, which did not and why. Truth In Aging is a forum she created to share what she learned.

Favorite Things Friday | Gold Edition


One Rough Diamond Stud Earrings | Two Gypsy Crown
Three Gold Druzy Necklace | Four Knuckle Ring Set

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Wedding Inspiration



One Fall Leaves Wedding Invitations | Two Smores Gift for Guests | Three Fall Wedding Cake
Four Fall Bouquet | Five Pumpkin Centerpieces | Six Fall Wedding Sparkles

For more Fall Wedding Inspiration visit our Pinterest board!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins


Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of milk
2 large bananas, mashed


- Line your muffin tin and preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, mash your bananas, then beat together the peanut butter, oil, eggs, and milk.
- Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Spoon the batter into your lined muffin tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Yields a dozen muffins.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fancy Designs Throw Pillow Giveaway


From classic patterns to personal photography to quirky quotes, the options are endless at Society6. We have had a blast creating fun, bold products. Our favorite of these products being throw pillows! The throw pillows are made from 100% spun polyester poplin fabric. A stylish statement that will liven up any room! Individually cut and sewn by hand, the pillow measures 16" x 16", features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper for ease of care. Includes faux down pillow insert.

Enter for your chance to win one of our throw pillows!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 20, 2013

Free Halloween Printable

(Unfortunately my printer was running low on black ink, these are much cuter without the lines!)
Download the 4x6 files here:
Eat Drink & Be Scary & Trick or Treat

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lace Wedding Inspiration



One Vintage Lace Wedding Invitations | Two Lace Wedding Cake | Three Lace Bouquet Wrap
Four Lace Favor Bags | Five Lace Sneakers | Six Lace Nails

Monday, September 9, 2013

Darling Diva Polish Review & Giveaway

If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for a good handmade product. Today I have the honor to share with you a super fun, and very pretty product that is handmade by Carrie Lynn of Darling Diva Polish. Her polish is so unique and I just adore the names. Carrie sent over two polishes with Prince inspired names. Little Red Corvette and Purple Rain. Both are absolutely gorgeous and both are quiet different!


(Photograph from Darling Diva Polish on Etsy.)
Little Red Corvette is full of red holographic glitters! Very beautiful and eye catching. Reminds me of Dorothy's shoes in the Wizard of Oz. Purple Rain is a dark Purple with blue overtones and a lovely linear shift. I'm not a big purple person, but this is also a very beautiful color. I believe it's the sparkle that really gets me.

Overall I would say that these are two very unique and very pretty polishes. Darling Diva Polish's business card says "Happy girls are the prettiest girls! Be Happy!" and I definitely think they will make anyone who uses them exactly that :) Total 5 out of 5 stars for these babies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 5, 2013

REMBRANDT® Deeply White Mouthwash Review

I'm a woman 20+ years of age. Like most of us, I've tried strips, toothpaste, and mouthwash that all boast that they will whiten your teeth the fastest. Want to know a secret? Most of them don't work and the ones that do only seem to work on a temporary basis. Still, I'm a sucker for good packaging, especially when it promises something like "whitens teeth" and "strengthens enamel." And the packaging for the REMBRANDT® Deeply White Mouthwash is exactly what got me to purchase it. The product, like so many others, claimed to have a minty fresh taste (which is usually code for tastes more like mint flavored bleach product.) I was pleasantly surprised the first night I tested it out. It has a really mild and minty flavor, which made me a bit skeptical. If this doesn't taste like it's basically eroding the coffee/tea stains, and maybe my teeth off, how can it be working? My skepticism aside, within 4 days of use, I noticed a big difference (especially on my front teeth.) I think on a scale from white to meth user, my teeth have never been the worst, but they definitely don't always look pearly white (the product of 2+ cups of coffee/tea a day). Immediately I could see where my teeth were starting to brighten up. [Insert happy girl dance here]
My Before & After

(I probably should have worn the same color lipstick for both shots, but you can still see the difference.
The after was taken 5 days into using the product.)

So, the verdict is...I think this product is a steal at $7.49. I've paid that for toothpaste that didn't work and I've paid three times as much for strips that just made my teeth feel like they were going to fall out. I think this is a must have in your bathroom. I'm anxious to try out there toothpaste as well as their 2 hour whitening kit.
Have you tried this product? What whitening products have you found that work best for you?
This review is based solely on my opinions. This product was not sent to me by REMBRANDT®, I purchased it locally.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recovery Reflection Realization

There are days where I wake up and I feel like I'm moving backwards. Nothing I do seems to push me in the direction I want to be going in. This feeling could explain why I have a planner, six notebooks, and calendars on both my phone and my computer all with to-do lists of things I want/need to accomplish. If left to my own devices I would walk backwards all the time. When I make a plan, it means that I am committed to doing something. Whether there's a chance that I won't finish or that I might fail, commitment is big motivator. I really envy those impulsive people who lived life with no intention. No plans, no lists, no rules. I frequently wish I could be more like them. How freeing a life of spontaneity must be!

Once a week I try to give myself a day where I am not deliberate. I wake up late, decide to not check my email, and I'm out the door to head to my favorite coffee shop. I listen to my favorite group of old men tell their stories. I sip my sugar free vanilla latte and savor in the aroma of fresh donuts. No plans, no rules, no lists. It's a nice retreat away from the constant structure and order. These are the days where I think up my best ideas, where I recover from the failures of the previous day. These are the days where I become better.

and this is the only reason why I have yet to have a mental breakdown. For all the plans and goals that I set for myself, I also give myself an out. If I start something and I fail, I don't give up completely. I start over, I give myself an escape, and I find a way to do it, and do it even better than before. We need balance in our lives, we need commitment in our lives, and we need the understanding that failure isn't permanent. Giving up is permanent, but failure opens the doorway that encourages us to try a little harder.

The next time you don't succeed, don't be so quick to give-up. Give yourself an escape and try again with more perspective and fresh eyes!

"The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself.
It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance,
or the help of others; it is in yourself alone."

Monday, September 2, 2013

Princess Party Inspiration



One Princess Party Birthday Invitation | Two Princess Cake Three Pink Tutu Dress
Four Pink Crown Paper Straws | Five Pink Crown Macaroons | Six Lace Crowns

For more Princess Party Inspiration visit our Pinterest Board!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pink & Gold Birthday Party Inspiration


One Pink & Gold Glitter Birthday Party Invitations | Two Pretty In Pink Pushup Funfetti
Three Pink & Gold Rhinestone Paper Straws | Four Gold Foil Cupcake Liners
Five Pink & Gold Glamour Necklace | Six Pink & Gold Candy Lollipops

For more pink & gold party inspiration visit our Pinterest board!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Simple Banana Bread Recipe


Ingredients:
- 4 bananas; ripe
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar; packed
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 large egg


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Mash your bananas.
Add in all ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes.
ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mint Wedding Inspiration


Mint is a fabulous color choice for a wedding. It looks great any season and pairs perfectly with a wide variety of hues (I'm partial to pairing it with gold and coral tones.)

One Ombre Mint Wedding Invitations | Two Mint & Gold Wands | Three Simple Mint Vase
Four Mint Bridesmaid Dress

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

As a wedding invitation designer, it's my job to educate my brides on proper etiquette for the wording of their invitations. It's not just fancy cardstock and pretty graphics. Traditional invitations follow very specific rules, such as: invitations are always written in the third person and the bride's name always comes before the groom's.

These days, most of my brides skip the way of tradition and tend to do their own thing (which is great.) No matter which direction they decide to go, there are 7 essential elements to a wedding invitation (traditional or more modern.) Why are they essential you might ask? These are the details that are essential to your guests and can set the mood for your wedding.


1. The Host Line - The host line can be adapted for a variety of hosting options: the bride & groom, the bride's parents, the groom's parents, a combination of the two, divorced & remarried parents, etc.
2. The Bride & Groom's Name - If the brides parents are inviting "Mr. & Mrs. John Michael Williams request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their daughter" it is not required that you include the bride's last name on the invitation (unless it is a different last name.)
3. The Request Line - By using certain verbiage such as "request the pleasure of your company" you can express to your guests that your wedding is more casual. If you are celebrating your nuptials in a house of worship, it's more appropriate to us "request the honor of your presence."
4. The Date - Always spell out the numbers in the date, year, and time, but not in the address.
5. The Time - Never use 2:00 p.m. Always use two o'clock in the afternoon or 6 o'clock in the evening. When it comes to a 2:30 p.m. wedding always write the half hour before the number (half after two o'clock in the afternoon.)
6. The Location - If your venue is a well known place, there is no need to include the address. If you are having your venue at a more private location, include the address.
7. The Reception - If you are having your reception at the same location as your ceremony, you can include "Reception to Follow" or "Reception Immediately to Follow." If you aren't serving food at the reception, it's polite to include "Cocktails & Cake to Follow [at location]" or "Cake & Dancing to Follow [at location.]" If you are hosting the reception at a completely seperate venue it is courtesy to include "Reception to Follow at [location]" and provide the address on a separate reception card.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Favorite Things Friday | Food Edition

A favorite dinner at our house is B.L.C (yup C not T.) We aren't huge on the T. A new addition to our bacon, lettuce, and chicken salads has been Annie's Homegrown Organic Cowgirl Ranch Dressing. May I just say that this is one of the best ranch dressings I've ever had. I've become quite obsessed with Annie's dressings. It reminds me of that homemade ranch we'd eat when we were little, but even better!

This salad is perfect for those days that you can't spend hours in the kitchen. Cut up some fresh romaine lettuce, grill or bake some chicken tenders, fry up some bacon (or use bacon bits), and load up on one of Annie's Organic Dressings. Add the T if you must :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wedding Details | Brooch Bouquet


One of the details from our wedding that I get the most questions about was my brooch bouquet. Friends, family, and complete strangers who have seen our wedding on Pinterest all seem to agree that it was beautiful and unique. It really was unique and held so much meaning. From the lace handkerchief that my sister-in-law included on the handle (that once belonged to my husband's great-grandmother), to the charm that was once my grandmother's engagement ring, my brooch bouquet is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life

The first question everyone asks me is "where did you get it?" That's a long story and I'd prefer to not say where it originally came from. Long story short, the bouquet I received in the mail was not the bouquet I walked down the aisle with. When I opened that box and saw a flat, misshapen bouquet, I was heart broken. The sellers only suggestion was to fasten fishing string from the brooches to the handle, to try to pull it into shape. I don't know about anyone else, but fishing string wasn't on my list of must-haves for my bouquet.

I was lucky to have a sister-in-law who ran over, pulled the bouquet apart, ordered 50 more brooches, and made the bouquet so much more personal for me. The best advice I can give when you're looking at brooch bouquets is, do your research. I thought a brooch bouquet for under $200 was a steal. These babies generally run $500-$1500. Sometimes if it sounds too good to be true, it possibly is. Just be careful. Read through as much of a sellers feedback as you can stomach. Contact them about your concerns, anything special you may want included. Feel them out. I was lucky that I felt a bond with the bouquet designer, I still believe she is a very talented and kind person. What upset me the most was that I dedicated a lot of time to promoting her shop, and referring MY brides to her. When one of my brides comes to me and tells me about a horrible experience she had with a vendor that I referred her to...well that reflects badly on me. It also hurts me because I know how important a wedding is. I know how important the details are.

If buying a bouquet isn't for you, and you're more of a DIY bride, don't be intimidated. Brooch bouquets are insanely easy to create. There are tons of tutorials out there, this tutorial at Project Wedding is a great one. You can get amazing deals for brooches on Ebay. We even ordered bulk costume jewelry rings to use on mine. They were cheaper than the brooches and you can't tell the difference. (My sister-in-law even snuck in a cow ring!) You can also find whole sets of brooches on Etsy! Ask your friends and family members if they have any brooches they'd like to include. I see brooches at all the antique shops and estate sales we go to. You won't believe how quickly you can acquire them. Put a little added thought and a few personal touches into your bouquet, and it will be something you can hold onto forever!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Emerald | 2013 Pantone Color of the Year

"Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony."

In honor of the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year we decided to incorporate emerald into some of our new Save the Date announcement designs. What's your favorite pantone?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Things Friday | Jewelry Edition

One I'm just swooning over this gorgeous peridot ring by a fellow member of The Artisan Group. Candice does incredible things with gemstones! | Two This necklace is currently under consideration to be used for the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time. Pam Hurst is another extremely talented jeweler in The Artisan Group. | Three I love headbands, I love hair jewelry, and I absolutely love anything turquoise. | Four This necklace is a combination of two of my favorite obsessions; druzy jewelry and gold! I just can't get enough!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunflower Wedding Inspiration

In honor of our new Rustic Sunflower Wedding Invitations we've put together a beautiful Pinterest board. It's filled with bright and beautiful sunflower inspiration!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Diamond Candles Review & Giveaway

When Diamond Candles contacted me to do a review I was ecstatic! If you aren't familiar with this company it's basically Cracker Jack for grown ups! A yummy scented candle with a surprise ring inside. Candles and bling...what lady doesn't get excited when she hears that?

Before I review the product, I'd like to give a round of applause to Diamond Candles for having a site that you can easily navigate. You don't have to go through 6 different option tabs to find the type of scent you're looking for. It's super easy to click the ONE tab you want and the options are there. The last thing I want to do is navigate through 300 pages of scents. The site is clean, easy to navigate, and extremely user-friendly. I also loved that they have a photo gallery where they showcase fan photos! They are even willing to take your scent suggestions into consideration. I love the idea of being involved with products that you enjoy.
Diamond Candles are all natural, Earth friendly, soy candles. They burn cleaner than paraffin candles, and are derived from a renewable sources. I don't mind paying $25 for a soy candle because I know it's going to last so much longer than a mass produced, paraffin candle. As soon as I opened the box I could smell the sweet scent of the Cupcake candle that I chose. It definitely feels like you're indulging in something delicious (minus the calories.) Within a few minutes our living room smelled like I'd been busy baking away in the kitchen. I give the scent a perfect score! My candle took a pretty good while to get here and I was definitely fearful of what state I might find it in when it would finally arrive. I'd be surprised if there has ever been an incident where one of these bad boys showed up broken. They are packaged extremely well and the jar itself is extremely durable...just ask our Catahoula who knocked it off the shelf, and onto his head.
In true impatient form I decided to dig into my candle with a spoon, much like a pirate in search of his treasure. After a little digging, I removed my jewel, put my wax back into my jar (it's wax, it doesn't have to be pretty to melt) and ripped open the protective foil...and well lets just say my ring wasn't of the $5000 variety, but it's cute! Unfortunately I could fit 2 of my fingers in it, but it's not the .25 cent gum ball machine ring I had expected.
(*Disclaimer* If you choose the path of impatience and decide to carve into your beautiful candle like a pumpkin, be prepared to live with the consequences of a very ugly candle. Also be prepared for your husband to come home and question why you are hovering over a candle with a spoon...Just a little candle cosmetic reconstructive surgery going on here! It's not going to be pretty, but it sure is going to smell good!)

So the verdict is, I've seen A LOT of negative reviews that seem to go the way of "my ring was super cheap and that sucks." I'm going to go off on a limb here and say that I doubt very seriously 10 people a day are getting $5000 rings out of their candle. If anyone has ever received one, I'd be surprised. I wasn't expecting anything more than costume jewelry. I don't tend to have high expectations of my candles. All I ask is that they shall smell good and shall not burn down my house. My candles smells HEAVENLY so I'm a happy camper. Honestly, my only complaint was how long it took for the candle to actually arrive. The website is up front about the fact that it will take 5-7 days for your order to come in. In my case it was 13 days. (This really isn't a reflection on Diamond Candles, I'd actually give FedEx the credit for that.) All around I give this product a definite 5 out of 5 stars!

GIVEAWAY Diamond Candles is giving away a candle to one of our lucky fans! Enter for your chance to win below! P.S. What's your favorite scent from Diamond Candles? We'd love to hear your opinions!
a Rafflecopter giveaway