Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Word of the Year

On Friday, I wrote about something called My One Word. If you haven’t already, go read about it here because today, I am revealing my ONE word!


I’ve felt an unbelievable amount of growth within myself thus far this year. Just this past month, I’ve felt my heart, soul, and mind grow. I’ve gained knowledge about myself that I never had. I’ve inwardly attacked some of my biggest weaknesses. I’ve embraced my strengths and continued to learn more about them and how I can better use them.
It’s been a process and every day is a new day to learn.
And grow.


This year has felt different.
I’ve felt different.


Earlier in life, I started off as this conscientiousness, go-getter, totally involved in everything type of girl. Going to every acting school/class I could, student government, captain of my dance teams, writing until my hands fell asleep. I was a dreamer and believed 100% that I could achieve anything I put my mind to. I wasn’t scared of the real world.


Then, as I got older, I started doubting myself. Comparing myself. Underestimating myself. If you asked me to describe myself, I had no idea what to say. I realized that a lot of the time, I was stuck in between this vision of who I wanted to be and the vision of what I thought I was “supposed” to be, how I was supposed to think, and what I was supposed to believe and more importantly, expect from myself and other people.


I’ve finally been able to start putting those “supposed to’s” aside and start figuring out what I want my life to look like.
More importantly, I’ve started
doing.
For so long, I’ve had dreams but I’ve second-guessed them or talked myself out of them. For so long, I’ve wanted to tackle my weaknesses. For so long, I’ve been thinking of plans. For so long, I’ve just felt like I spend all my time “figuring out” what I want to do, be, say, etc. that I’ve never actually gotten to that point.


So, I decided on my word this year. It was quite easy to come up with and it’s a word that I’m excited to focus all my attention and efforts to throughout the rest of 2012.


Become.


No more talking myself out of things or doubting my talents. No more spending all my time “figuring things out.” It’s time to actually become those things and that woman that I’ve been trying to become all along.


So, this will probably mean I’ll have to channel the sixth grade version of myself when I had no fear and was full of determination and confidence :)
Sure, life was different then, but, the time I have here on this Earth hasn’t changed.
I put myself to work then and I’m putting myself to work now. I’m ready to see the results. I’m ready to become.


Pinned Image

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{via}


I plan to surround myself with prints and pictures like the above.
To surround myself with people who encourage me to become who I really am.
To surround myself with thoughts, words, and sounds that inspire me.
To surround myself with faith and light.

This is my year to
become.
After that, my dreams will be at my fingertips. Anything will be possible.


I’m excited to document my progress here on this blog :)


So, now tell me – what’s your word?

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Week of Work Fashion

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful last weekend of January! Time is certainly flying by.

I’d like to consider myself pretty lucky for currently working in a “business casual” environment. Since college, every organization I had worked for up until now, was totally corporate so skirt suits and nice slacks were all I could get away with. Now, I’m finally able to dress in a style that suits me and that I can be comfortable in for 9+ hours of my day!

This past week, I took a picture each evening of what I had worn that day.

DayOne 
DayTwo 
DayThree-1 
DayFour-1
DayFive-1

Not only is this a great visual record of outfits I’ve put together {to help me on those morning when I don’t want to put a lot of effort in}, but, it’s also an awesome way to see what styles suit me the best! For example, after taking my Day Five picture {orange blazer} and comparing it to the other outfits, I realized it just doesn’t do much for me.

I think Day Three {with the scarf} would have to be my favorite but it was totally unplanned. You see, I’m always cold. When I get into work in the morning, my office is fah-ree-zing, so I kept the scarf on. Good thing I did because it kind of made the outfit :) I also love Day Four because, let’s be honest, animal print if one of my favorite things right now! Brown is my black in case you can’t tell so mixing a bunch of browns together was fun for me. Also, I love belts and think they’re the perfect way to add some depth and texture to an outfit!

And yes, I do always have the same “fashion stance” ;)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Choose Your Word

Wow, thank you everyone for your sweet words on Wednesday’s wedding post. I’m so glad I decided to share those pictures with you :) All of the positive comments and emails truly mean the world to me!

There just wasn’t enough time in the day yesterday to post. I hate that feeling. I’ve always loved taking the time to come up with my blog posts and browse around Blogland and comment on everyone’s awesome posts. However, it’s been hard to do so lately and I really don’t like the way that feels. It’s like having that last thing that you can’t check off your list. Anyone else ever feel that way?

Today I wanted to share something with you that I found about a week or two ago over on Tara’s blog. It’s called My One Word.

It’s a different approach to the well-known but many times ineffective “New Year’s Resolution.”
Lose ten pounds. Stop biting my nails. Save more money.
Don’t get me wrong - I think having a resolution to a problem is a wonderful thing and working toward one goal can be so beneficial in the end. But, when I heard about My One Word, and read about it, and studied it, I knew I had to take part in it. I’ve been thinking of it ever since.

Instead of trying to solve a problem from the past, My One Word encourages us to move toward the future.

It’s based on the idea of becoming who God/The Universe created us to be. You pick out one word and live that word to its fullest every day this year, starting on February 1st. Let it become a part of you. Instead of a long list of things to change about ourselves, it’s one word for us to focus our energy, words, and actions on. It can be anything.

Since I found out about My One Word, I’ve been searching out my word in my heart. What do I want to focus on throughout this next year of my life? Where do I want to see myself in the future?

Maybe now you’re thinking about what your word could be or where you want to see yourself one year from now.
Start brainstorming. Search out your heart for that word that keeps tugging at you.
Perhaps these words below from Gandhi will help start the process :)

Pinned Image
{via}

I’m so excited to start living My One Word this year.

Be sure to stop by next Tuesday {January 31st} for the reveal of my word!

Do you have a unique way that helps you keep your resolutions? Do share!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mid-Season Bachelor Talk

Shall we talk about The Bachelor? I find it interesting to hear everyone’s “Top Three” girls as the season progresses. I often wonder whether it’s their top three or the top three they think would be the best match for the bachelor.

I think I definitely lean more towards the girls I could see myself being friends with. That’s the first factor. Obviously, the other factor is whether I could see Ben married to the girl or not.

First up, Jennifer.

THE BACHELOR - "Episode 1604" - Jennifer is the next fortunate woman to get her first one-on-one date. The adventurous Bachelor reveals that they will be rappelling down into a mysterious crater, where there is actually warm water below. Lowering themselves into the dark abyss, they drop to the water and reunite for a kiss. Later that night, the couple enjoy a romantic rain-soaked outdoor dinner and a then a real treat: a private concert by country music superstar Clay Walker. Jennifer feels she is a perfect match for Ben, but will he feel the same and extend her a rose? The next episode of "The Bachelor" airs MONDAY, JANUARY 23 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/NATALIE CASS)BEN FLAJNIK, JENNIFER

Not only do I want the outfit she’s wearing above {and her gorgeous hair} but Jennifer really just seems to light up the scenery around her. She glows when she’s with Ben. I’m sure that’s in her nature to just be a happy person but last night, I really saw how she brought out that joy in Ben. Ben brought up a really good point when mentioning his career and his need to be flexible. His days aren’t very structured and he needs a woman who will be okay with that. I think Jennifer would really help balance him out.

Then there is Kacie B.

THE BACHELOR - In "Episode 1601," Ben returns to the mansion for the first big cocktail party. He explains to Chris Harrison that, as painful as his experience was last season, he has no regrets. When Ben began his journey with Ashley, he was emotionally shut down due to his grief over his father's death. Ultimately, he was able to open himself up again to love. Because of that journey, he is a different man and ready to try and find love again, when "The Bachelor" premieres MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/RICK ROWELL)KACIE, BEN FLAJNIK

She is such a sweet, gentle, and hopeless romantic kind of gal. You can tell she has genuine and strong feelings for Ben and their chemistry is very evident. But, would they complement each other enough in the long run? I can’t see Kacie being as flexible with Ben’s schedule. I’d see her becoming a bit lonely. Although she’s been very patient, I think she needs a guy who’s able to devote a lot of quality time and I’m not sure Ben is going to be that guy… at least for a while.

Then, we have Emily…

Emily poem

I really liked her on their one-on-one date where they climbed the Golden Gate! She seemed pretty genuine and fun. Then, last night happened. Emily and Courtney got into a bit of a tiff, to say the least. I have no idea what it must be like to be in their shoes but I can only imagine that it’s not easy. I can understand that it’s really hard to feel as if someone isn’t being honest with the man you’re truly falling for. But, I question what that situation did for Ben. He still seems pretty into Courtney. I wish I knew why…

Next up, we have Jamie…

THE BACHELOR - In "Episode 1601," Ben returns to the mansion for the first big cocktail party. He explains to Chris Harrison that, as painful as his experience was last season, he has no regrets. When Ben began his journey with Ashley, he was emotionally shut down due to his grief over his father's death. Ultimately, he was able to open himself up again to love. Because of that journey, he is a different man and ready to try and find love again, when "The Bachelor" premieres MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/RICK ROWELL)JAMIE, BEN FLAJNIK

Jamie has certainly kept a low profile on the show. We don’t hear much from her and haven’t seen much of her yet, but, it’s looking like that might change next week! I’m looking forward to seeing if they have any chemistry because she seems super sweet!

And lastly, Rachel

THE BACHELOR - "Episode 1603" - Ben surprises 11 of the women by taking them skiing for the day. They don't realize that he has shut down a San Francisco street in the middle of the city and covered it with snow for their adventure. The ladies strip down to bikinis and hit the slope. The competition for Ben's rose continues to be fierce at the after party, but one emotional bachelorette crashes the festivities to give Ben some very unexpected news. She declines the one-on-one date invitation he extended to her. The moment is a real gut-check for Ben and causes him to question everything, on "The Bachelor," MONDAY, JANUARY 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/RON KOEBERER)RACHEL, BEN FLAJNIK

I like Rachel’s mellow attitude, but last night’s date definitely had me feeling a little nervous for where things will go next. Ben sure seems a little concerned about her lack of opening up. While he’s open to being patient, let’s be honest – there’s only so much time for ABC to film this show!

Those are my top contenders as of now, in no particular order {except for Jennifer kind of!} I’m still a little iffy about the rest of the girls. That includes Lindzi. I know a lot of people are pulling for her, but something about her still rubs me the wrong way. We’ll see! It could all change!

P.S. I LOVE that they were in Park City on last night’s episode! As most of my readers know, I adore Park City and miss it terribly. Now, if only I had known about that crater! ;)

So, tell me, friends… who are you pulling for? Who do you think is Ben’s best match thus far?

{All photos via}

Monday, January 23, 2012

What January Teaches Me

This blog is not yet a year old, and obviously many things have happened prior to the start of this blog which brought me to where I am today. I’ve mentioned before that the holidays are a big time of remembrance and reflection for me. I had many big things happen around that time last year. Same goes for the month of January. There’s one date in particular.

January 22nd.

Last year’s January 22nd was very significant. Maybe this time next year, I’ll have some deep reflections about it to share. However, today, let’s talk about 2010. On January 22, 2010 I got into my car, as packed up as it could possibly be and drove across the country to Utah. I had been there once before. I did not have a job set up or any furniture. Nothing. Just myself, a couple suitcases, a 6-month lease, an air mattress, a few acquaintances, and my GPS. Most people found it hard to believe or even understand. I’m definitely not known for being a risk-taker and that was probably one of the riskiest things I had ever done before.

I knew while I was still in college that I needed a big change and that the change would most likely happen with a big move. California was the ideal place. With money and economy the way it has been, California was looking a little too dangerous at the time. I knew I wanted to be out West. So, I considered Phoenix and Salt Lake City – each with decent costs of living. I ended up deciding on Salt Lake City after I made a 5-day visit out there in the Summer of 2009. I knew a few people there and the large church community out there would certainly be a huge help in making new friends. So, I did it. I moved.

The drive out there was amazing. I traveled through states I never thought I’d see {Wyoming} and felt so ridiculously excited for what was to come next in my life. It was the newest chapter I had ever started. After two days of driving, I had finally arrived in my new home. With the help of two guys {one of whom later became my husband} my car was unpacked, my air mattress was blown up, and I was ready to start life in Utah!

The next few months were some of the most unpredictable, live-in-the-moment months that I have ever experienced. I went totally out of my comfort zone and tried meeting as many people as possible through church and other activities. About two weeks after settling into my new home, there was a retreat up at a cabin in Idaho that I was invited to. Idaho? Never been! Clearly, I had to go. So, I did! It was a fun, snowy weekend full of playing games, watching movies, and adventuring out into the snow… in Montana.




Yes, Montana. One day, we ventured off to West Yellowstone for a day of walking around, shopping, and sightseeing. The roads were covered in ice/snow and most people got around by way of snowmobile. Pretty cool, huh? The town itself was very quaint and friendly; exactly what you’d expect of a little Western town :) Check out that snow drift in the last picture!

A couple of us left Idaho Sunday morning at 6am to make it back in time for a meeting before church. While at church, a friend of mine {from Orange County, CA} mentioned that he decided he’s going to go home for a few days and told me I should come hang out {he knew how much I LOVED California!} I knew I had to go. How often do you get an opportunity like that?
So, that night, I did my laundry and re-packed my suitcase before leaving for Orange County the next morning. It was exhilarating. I felt so alive! {Want to see pictures? Perhaps I should do a future post on that!}

I knew that there would only be certain times in my life where I could live that way – like a free bird :) It was crazy and amazing all at the same time. I had just moved all the way across the country and then I was driving and jetting off to surrounding states, seeing this beautiful country of ours and learning more about myself and what I want out of life.

That was two years ago. Thinking back to that time really helped put things into perspective for me. I think lately I had really taken the backseat approach to my own life. I was sitting, waiting, hoping for things to happen. I was unsure, undecided, and timid. That’s NOT who I was two years ago and that’s NOT who I want to go on being. I decided it’s time to take control of my own life and really go after the things I want and become the person I want to be.

With the new year and with my most recent birthday {all within the past three weeks} I’ve made some big steps and I’ve seen the changes in my life taking place.

Today is January 23rd, and marks another new start in my life. Maybe that’s how every January 23rd is. The day after. The fresh day full of the beauty of another new start.
Whether you have a significant date each year or not, remember that every day is a new start. It’s a chance to turn things around or start living the life you’ve always wanted. Chase after your dreams. Go on that trip, even if it’s last minute. See the world. Do a favor for someone just because. Smile. Live.

{Also, you can find me over here today talking all about one of my biggest guilty pleasures!}

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Freeing My iPhone Pictures

I’ve said it before on here how absolutely horrible I am about doing anything with the pictures I take on my iPhone. They usually just sit there. I have an account with Instagram, but don’t use it, I don’t upload my pictures to Facebook. They just sit there. All 800 and some odd number of them. Craziness. Please keep in mind, I still don’t have the fancy iPhone 4S camera so my pictures might not be quite as snazzy as others. I think they’re still cool :)

Luckily, sweet Jenni from Story of My Life has organized a fun link-up to share some of our phone pictures!

Today is an interesting day for me, to say the least. So, to put my mind elsewhere, I’m sharing some totally random things with you!

Mecollage

1. Me on a chilly day with my new favorite scarf.
2. Me on a not-as-chilly day with my new favorite scarf.

Target scarves are lovely. Soft, fun colors/patterns, AND they’re a decent price. Bam!

DestinationCollage

3. Denver sky with the Rockies in the far-off distance
4. Las Vegas Strip

Both taken from the window of a plane/the airport. I was lucky and got to be in both places on the same day :)

Legs 

5. New running shoes on the treadmill
6. How pants look when I try them on. I still love being short. Sigh…

Food

7. Larabar’s uber line. Bananas Foster. Yummmm! Has anyone tried this yet?
8. A plate full of yum Mexican for my celebration dinner. I like celebration dinners :)

Signs

9. The Broiler. Best pizza ever. I don’t think calling it pizza is even fair because it’s so unique. If you’re ever in Arlington, VA – stop by this place! It’s been a family favorite for years!
10. Shirlington Cinema for My Week With Marilyn :)

And that’s about it, folks! It feels nice to finally share some of these pictures with you.

I hope everyone’s Sunday has been positive and fabulous and here’s to a new, exciting week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Missing My Old Home

There are things I miss about my old home. Salt Lake City. The great Western state of Utah. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and next week you’ll find out why. I think once you’ve been somewhere for a while and when things get tough, you sometimes lose appreciation for the little things. Which is what happened to me the longer I lived there.

I left Utah on horrible terms. At that point, I was ready to leave and didn’t take much time {or any time} to say goodbye. While I can’t say that state was the greatest match for me, it became my home and I definitely miss it now, looking back.

Salt Lake City and the surrounding area {aka beautiful Park City} are known for their snow. I couldn’t get over how much it snowed last year. It started in October and lasted through April/May. I was told it was “dry” snow which, yes, does make it much more pleasant to deal with than the wet snow we get here on the East Coast. However, when it snows that much and you’re not used to it, it gets pretty overwhelming.

Example #1: Chances are, when I walked out to my car in the morning to go to work, this is what it would look like:

snow

I quickly learned that snow is not as dreamy as it looks while falling and that literally digging your car out of the snow every morning gets old. But, I still miss how beautiful it was and how at almost any point of the year, you could always look up at those mountains and find snow.

mtns

Even in the middle of Spring while at a baseball game…

Regardless, I still miss it. Mainly because I miss putting on all my snowboarding gear to go make snow angels.

I miss the sights. One of the things I loved most about Utah was the scenery. I could never get over the mountains.
It’s funny… when I first moved out there and told people I was from the DC area, they’d say, “Oh, it’s so beautiful out there with all of the forests!” The forests? I just call them woods. I could have gone on to tell them how the “forests” are all being cut down due to over-population and the demand to build more homes and the government taking over the entire area and all the wildlife being forced out of their natural habitats but instead, I’d just say, “I think it’s prettier out here!” :)

Not having trees everywhere resulted in the most gorgeous sights of the lights in the valley every night.

valley

And I can’t even tell you how many rainbow pictures I have. You’d think I lived in Hawaii!

rainbow

And do I even need to say how much I love sunsets? :)

sunset

I miss the close-proximity of everything.
I could walk to my gym, grocery store, movie theatre, church, and Target, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, and everything else were within a two-minute drive.
Park City was twenty minutes from my house.
And, if I wanted to, I could drive 4-5 hours south to the beautiful red rock of Southern Utah or go a little bit further to Vegas.


Park City on a quiet weekend morning

Speaking of Park City, I miss Furburbia – the animal adoption center that we fostered animals for. It was one of THE most amazing experiences of my life to take Bronson, Kip, and Lani, Kiki, and Pearl into my heart and home until they eventually found their forever homes. They blessed my life :)

kittens

I miss the sushi.

The only sushi I had eaten prior to moving to Utah was the kind you buy at the grocery store. Then, I was introduced to real sushi. Along with coconut and pineapple, I could eat sushi 24/7. Sushi out West > Sushi back East. Proven.

I miss the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are my team. You see, in DC everyone claims to be a “Redskins” fan or a “Nationals” fan. While, yes, my family was born and bred to be Redskins fans, I’ve never been emotionally invested with them year-round like I was and still am with the Jazz. Going to games, going to the NBA Draft Party, meeting players, and running into them at the movies and restaurants – it was an amazing experience. Not to mention, our arena is known to be the loudest arena in the NBA. Bam! Just sayin’…


There are other things I miss as well and I’m sad I didn’t truly say goodbye to Utah. But, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that means I’ll go back someday, even if just for a short visit.

I think wherever we live, we leave a big part of our heart there and we become forever changed by that place. Utah changed me, and I’d like to think it was for the better :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Must-Have Beauty Finds

It’s time to write about some of my favorite beauty products. The majority of these products I started using last year and I ended up loving them enough to carry them through the new year! I’m a pretty loyal person so if I find something that works, I stick with it. Now I get to share some of those with you!

One of my all-time-time-favorites-I’ve-tried-so-many-and-this-is-still-the-best products is the Ulta Eyeshadow Base. I probably picked this up with some other Ulta shadows during one of their 2-for-1 deals and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve even tried what I’ve heard is the best of the best, Urban Decay’s Primer Potion and this STILL tops my list. Here are the things I love about this product:

1. It starts off as a cream but turns into a powder-like formula as you apply it to your eyelids so it’s smooth and the coverage is great.
2. It lasts forever. The product itself has lasted me months and, well, over a year. {I know you’re supposed to throw away things after so long but this puppy just keeps on going} I wear it every single day.
3. My eyeshadow has never stayed put so well. My eyeshadow does NOT crease and stays on all day! What more do you really need out of a primer?
4. In case you do need something more, I can tell you that this eyeshadow base could also take the place of eyeshadow. On the days where I’m running super late, I can throw a little of this on my eyelids to really give my eyes a smooth, bright look and totally do away with any silly blood vessels.

UltaBase

Nothanks

Again, it’s a personal preference, but, I have to choose Ulta’s base as the top performer!

The only bummer? I looked online today and can’t find this product on Ulta’s website :( Yikes. It took me this long to write a review and now that I finally have, they might not carry the product anymore? Next time I’m in the store, I’ll be sure to double check and report back!

Biore

Again, I’ve tried other facial cleansers but I keep coming back to my beloved Biore. For the longest time, I had been wanting to try Borba’s Age Defying 4-in-1 Cleanser and finally got my hands on it a couple months ago. Wasn’t impressed. Here are the reasons why Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser is my go-to face wash:

1. My face has never felt so clean. {I use this wash with my Clarisonic Mia, so that helps as well!} This cleanser gives your face that tingly feeling as it deep cleans your pores and removes all the dirt, oil, and make-up.
2. It lasts forever. Do we see a trend here? Again, I was able to stretch this product longer than an entire year, using it twice daily. No exaggeration. A little bit {I’d use about half a pump’s full at a time} goes a LONG way! It was a sad day when I got to the end of the first bottle.
3. The results! It fights blemishes and blackheads and keeps my skin {almost} blemish-free. I’ve never had perfect skin and probably never will, unfortunately.

I think I’ve tried pretty much every form of getting the cleanest, freshest feeling skin – ProActiv, dermatologist-prescribed topical treatments and medications, Noxzema pads {these are probably my second favorite but smell horrible}, and many various face washes. I’m sticking with this one :)

Buxom

I should start off by saying that I am allergic to lipstick and chap stick. Seriously. Throughout the years and years of dance and acting that I did {and copious amounts of stage make-up that I wore}, I often paid the price for a week or two after a performance with horribly swollen and painful, raw lips. When I do get the choice as to what I wear on my lips, I stick with Carmex and lip-gloss.

Anyway, I’ve had my battles with many lip colors so when I find one that I like and that doesn’t make my lips explode, I keep it around for a long time. I’ve been a Buxom “Big & Healthy Lip Polish” fan for a few years now. I’ve always received them as gifts and just loved the variety of colors. Recently, I got one in the pretty, pinkish color of “Tonya.” I’d describe it as a vivacious bubblegum pink. I’m not a fan of pink but somehow, I like this color when I wear it. It’s fresh and fun. Now, here’s why I love Buxom:

1. It lasts forever. I had to. But seriously, this is one of the only lip glosses I’ve found that doesn’t get all goopy and won’t slide off my lips. The color sticks pretty well and I’ve found remnants of it still on my lips at the end of the night when I’m forced to wipe it off. Pretty good, if you ask me!
2. The way it feels. a) it’s supposed to give your lips a little volume so the tingly feeling is a good reminder of that and b) it’s a thicker gloss which I definitely like {which keeps it from sliding off easily}
3. I’m just crazy over this color right now and most of the colors I’ve tried thus far in the line.

I know everyone has their lip gloss preferences. I definitely prefer something a little thicker and with some color/shimmer so this is perfect for me!

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite beauty products this past year or so. I’ve received some new products already this year so, after I get more accustomed to them, I’d love to write a review on those as well!

Now, here’s where I need your help – I’m in the market for a new foundation. I’ve been using a liquid foundation for a while now so I’ll probably stick with liquid but all suggestions are welcome! If the make-up line doesn’t test on animals, that makes it even better!! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday | Place Settings

I love weddings. I really do. I love every little detail and personal touch. The colors, the flowers, the food, the toasts, the cameras clicking, the love, and the new beginnings – I love it all! Every time I put together a Wedding Wednesday post, I don’t even know where to start because there are just so many things to choose from! Today, I wanted to share some beautiful table settings with you.

One of the first details your guests will set their eyes on after walking into your reception venue, will be their spot at the dinner table. There will be some people who notice the tiny, little details like the floating candles in your centerpiece or the handwritten “thank you” on their favors. Of course there are the people who are just eyeing the buffet instead :) Either way, the place setting is a wonderful way to welcome your guests to the celebration of your marriage. So, let’s get started!

If you’re going to go with black for your wedding, I think gold is the classiest color to pair it with {and I’m not just saying that because gold is a favorite color of mine!} It gives a regal, art deco kind of vibe. From the gold-rimmed plates to the gold cutlery, this is one look that will definitely impress your guests!

Pinned Image
{via}

This next look is bright, fun, and totally eclectic. I’m seeing patterned plates more and more often these days. They’re a great way to give your wedding that unique touch that you won’t see anywhere else. Plates like these can be found at antique stores, thrift shops, or even swap meets! Pick up some fun napkin holders and a colored placemat, and you’re ready to go!

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{via}

For you rustic-loving brides, this one is for you! Burlap, feathers, and twine will surely set the scene for any barn or outdoorsy wedding. I love the texture of the wood underneath the plates and the crinkled fabric as a table runner along with the pop of color with the yellow plates wraps up this look perfectly!

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Isn’t it crazy how the tiniest, most simple details can just make a look? This gold and blush place setting below is no exception. The sparkly gold ribbon between the plates and the favor wrapped in tissue paper to match the smaller plate are super easy yet totally adorable! Have I mentioned how much I love gold?

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If you’re renting plates and cutlery and any other glassware from a rental company {like I did} the costs will add up… rather quickly. Some of the elaborate glasses and chargers can certainly cost a pretty penny. So, if you’re a bride on a strict budget, there are definitely many great options for a fun, cute place setting as well!
You can buy plates, paper napkins, and plastic utensils from a wholesale party store to cut back on cost! Tie in your theme or color scheme and you’re all set!

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This place setting below has tons of little details that just make me swoon! I love the beautifully-colored glasses as well as the pretty plates with their fun designs. As you can see, the menu is hand-written on soft blue card stock and tucked into all the layers.


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I’m sure we’ll also be seeing more and more rose gold incorporated into weddings and wedding decor now, like the below place setting. I just love the crackled charger paired with the peach colored antique plates. It’s traditional mixed with a little modern flair.

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Lastly, I'm sharing my place setting with you. When I saw these chargers at the rental showroom, I had to have them. Had to. For food, we had stations instead of a plated dinner so all plates were set up at the stations instead. We incorporated our orange orchids by tucking them into the teal napkin with our DIY menu and finished the look off with our favors!


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Talk with your rental company and caterer about any specifics you have in mind regarding place setting set-up. For example, if you want to wrap a ribbon around the plates, want the napkins displayed a certain way, etc. We had a more laid-back reception and trusted our vendors to just go with it! I can’t even tell you how ecstatic I was when I saw the tables! :)

I’m loving the table settings I’ve found thus far and will always be on the look-out for more! As always, feel free to follow me on Pinterest to see more of my wedding planning ideas!

What’s your place setting style?

{linking up here}

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

House Hunters | Kitchens

You might remember several months ago during one of my Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday posts, I did a “House Hunters” special. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out here and then come back :) In that post, I showed you a few different architecture styles that I would LOVE to have as my home someday. Well, now it’s time to start showing you what I’d like the inside of my house to look like as well. Every so often, I will be sharing inspirations from different rooms. Today, let’s get started with…

KITCHENS!

There are certain aspects I would love in a kitchen and certain things that just aren’t deal breakers for me. For example, I don’t NEED granite countertops. In fact, I’m not even sure I would want them. I think there are so many other options today that would be quality and still give a great vibe. I’ve learned that I’m a more practical kind of gal rather than a total “character” gal.  Let’s start off with this kitchen:

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The number one thing that attracts me to this kitchen is the light/openness.
Here we have skylights, multiple types of ceiling lighting, as well as built-in lighting underneath the hanging cabinets. The stainless steel appliances are a nice touch, although I’m not a stainless steel snob :) The dark hardwoods also add a rich, classy contrast to the light cabinets.

I could also see myself in a kitchen like this:

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Nothing crazy, right? White cabinets with darker counter tops. I’m loving the backsplash and again, the lighting under the hanging cabinets as well as the lighting in the glass cabinets. This kitchen isn’t quite as bright as the first but it still has a fresh, airy vibe to it.

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This kitchen is huge. I’m not sure I’ll be seeing a kitchen quite this big in my near future, however, I looove the openness. The open ceiling is super unique as is the grey island. I’m just now noticing the contrasting counter top colors which I’m not crazy about, but I love mostly everything else about this one.

While I love white cabinetry, I also love color. A lot. Too much white in a kitchen just seems to drown everything out. So, there are a couple other options. First, you can go with darker wood cabinetry. This has been popular for a while now and really provides that rich, traditional feel.

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Or, you can really add some fun with COLOR!

If I had nothing else holding me back, this is probably what my kitchen would look like:


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Seriously, if I walked into a home and saw this kitchen, I’d have to buy it. It’s as simple as that. I’d also wear a dress like that every time I was in the kitchen.

Moving on… here are some other colorful kitchens that I always wouldn’t mind having in my house:

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This kitchen incorporates everything I’ve discussed. The white cabinets, dark wood, and a little splash of color.

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I’ve never really been super into vintagey kitchens, but HOW could I resist this one? That fridge and the oven? Beautiful! Not to mention, the backsplash is a lot of fun too!

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I’m a total blue fanatic. I do think it’s kind of out-there to have cabinets that are a non-neutral color, but, they’re fun!

Who knows what kind of kitchen I’ll end up with when I buy a house? Maybe it will be a mixture of all three styles that I’m into. Perhaps my style will change in the next few years and I’ll go back to liking the super modern style again like I did when I was a teenager. We shall see. Until then, I’ll be enjoying all the beautiful kitchens and homes I can browse through on the Internet {and on House Hunters!} If you don’t already, follow me on Pinterest here to see some more of my inspirations :)

Now, tell me, friends – what does your dream kitchen look like?