Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Falling in Love : A Wedding Shower

My brother in law, who was only fourteen when Glen and I were married (okay, now I feel old), is engaged to the sweetest girl and they will be tying the knot this coming November! We are so super excited for them and wanted to do something special to celebrate but, also help them get lots of good stuff for their new home. So, my sister-in-law, mother-in-law and I got together, spent a lot of time on Pinterest, and threw them this fun, fall themed wedding shower!

We were thrilled with how all the details came together to make such a great and cozy atmosphere while keeping with the elegance of the occasion. We were going for classic, colorful, rustic and timeless. Something that wasn't over the top but definitely not too simple either. I think we hit the nail right on the head! I made the cake and, while it didn't turn out exactly like the one I pinned (does anything ever really?), I was so pleased with the final result. My sweet hubby spent a lot of time cutting the perfect log for us to use as our cake stand and it went so well with the simple frosting and decorative leaves. 

We put together some really pretty floral arrangements to sit around and they really added some nice color where there wasn't otherwise. The pumpkin arrangements were my favorite and I now have one sitting on my sofa table so, yay for repurposeing! I also really loved the initial pumpkins, although they were one of the most time consuming of my projects. They added the perfect touch to the food table with all of the nice, fall themed goodies.

The cake was two tiered, the top being spice cake and the bottom, butter recipe yellow, all with homemade buttercream frosting. So touchy to make but so good! We also had pumpkin cookies (a family recipe), candy corn mixed with roasted nuts (who knew it tastes just like a payday candy bar?), apple slices with caramel dip, ice water and, of course, apple cider.

We wanted something fun and memorable, while widely enjoyable for favors so we went with a fun box of take-away s'mores! One of my favorite details of all! They were a little involved to put together but oh so worth the cuteness they added to the recipe box table. We found this great one on Amazon and it will be the perfect addition to Danae's new kitchen (and it just may make my Christmas list this year!). I made and printed some simple little recipe cards to store inside and all of the guests brought one of their favorite recipes to help fill it up.

We put up fall leaves, decoration and themed prints everywhere along with a few chalkboards because that is so cute and very in right now. And we planned a couple of fun games that both went over really well. One was called "Disney Love Songs" and the other was "Help the Bride-to-be write her vows". Both were lots of fun and the vow game definitely earned more than a few laughs from the guests and hosts alike. 

Like I mentioned before, many of our ideas were found on Pinterest and are saved to this board in particular if you'd like any specifics or resources. This was such a fun event and our family is so thrilled to be welcoming Danae! Congratulations you two!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Style : Boho Feminine

Dress : Wrangler  //  Cardigan : Jolt  //  Shoes : Chinese Laundry  //  Purse : thrifted

Total Cost : $31

I purchased this dress a few months ago with the intention of using it for maternity pictures. It's the perfect light pink, flowy, not too snug, so so comfortable and amazingly enough, non maternity. I absolutely love it. When I found it for 75% off brand new, I just couldn't pass it up. And, since it isn't maternity, I think it will be great for post baby outfits, with some slight adjustments to make it nursing friendly. 

I followed through and wore it for our maternity session a couple of weeks ago and it photographed beautifully (I'll be sharing my favorite images soon!). It's just the right amount of boho and feminine mixed together so it worked perfectly for church with my growing bump this morning but would also be comfortable enough for a day out with my family. I know I'll be getting lots of wear out of it in the future. 

I loved pairing it with this loose fitting cardigan and some strappy heeled sandals. These are some of my favorite thrifting finds and they go with practically anything. 

It's been a little quiet over here the last few days as I've been busily getting our home ready for the birth of our baby (only about three weeks to go!), preparing for the wedding shower I co-hosted yesterday for my Brother in law and his soon to be wife and planning last minute photo shoots before I take some time off all while juggling Bible study, Shared Learning, schooling at home and trying to find time to relax. Life can sure get booked quickly. One minute it seems you breeze through the week with schoolwork and have all the free time in the world and the next you have every second planned with even more responsibilities piling up. It can be tough. But, then I remember how much I love all the excitement and that this season of our life will be over all too quickly. 

I love hosting parties and get togethers at our home and yesterday's shower was no exception. All the decorations and food came together beautifully and I can't wait to share how much fun we had in the next few days. But, for now, I need to get my house back together for the pending week and all that we have going on while I begin editing the amazing engagement session from last night. Phew.. Have a blessed week and look for some more fun posts coming soon (including a little count down to baby fun with our boys - it's getting so close!!)!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Style : Baby Shower Attire

Dress : made by me (tutorial from Leanne Barlow)  //  Booties : Worthington  //  
Necklace : Walmart brand  //  Purse : Plum brand

Total cost : $11

My mom and dad hosted a shower for our little guy this afternoon. It was so great and we got some things we really needed to get us ready for the baby stage again. So, when I was trying to come up with something to wear, I was drawing a blank. I always struggle with what to wear to things like this. It's a special occasion and you want to dress nicely but I hate to be the one person who over (or under) dresses. After giving it a little too much thought, I kept landing on the floral ruched maternity dress I made a couple of weeks ago. It has really made that big of an impression on me. 

I love the fit and the way it makes me feel feminine without showing too much. But, I had just worn it to church and a bridal shower the week before so, I was torn whether I wanted to wear it to another event so soon. Well, I decided that I loved the dress so much it would be totally and completely worth it to make another. I mean, I still have about a month left and goodness knows I can use plenty of easy, go to outfits to keep me comfortable and feeling great about myself. So, that's exactly what I did.

This time though, I went with a solid fabric that would work well with lots of different jewelry and accessories. When I poled the boys on which grey they preferred, light or dark, they chose the darker and I kind of agreed. I took it home and whipped up this pretty thing and I love how perfectly it came out. It hugs my bump so nicely but doesn't make me feel too conspicuous and I love that I'll be able to pair lots of statement pieces with the neutral color for fall and beyond. 

If you want to read the tutorial, just head over to Elle Apparel. She makes it so easy. 

For today, I added this pretty mint necklace, which coincidentally matched my purse perfectly, and these great booties. Eight hours into the day and I was still comfortable and feeling great. (Seriously, we snapped these after getting home from church and the shower) 

To those who were able to attend this afternoon, thank you for showering us with love and gifts for our sweet baby boy who will be here before we know it! Really though, we're 35 weeks with less than 5 to go! I guess that means I should get to making freezer meals and organizing everything for after he arrives. A little fun fact about me : sometimes I procrastinate until I feel the pressure of getting it done NOW! Which can be a good but, also a very, very bad thing. lol

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Transitioning to Fall with oversized sweaters


Sweater : Worthington  //  Top : Motherhood (similar)  //  Pants : Duo Maternity  //  Shoes : Maurices

Total cost : $12

Over sized sweaters make great cooler weather staples and are easy to add to more summery outfits to help transition to fall. I love this neutral colored one from Worthington. I have it in petite medium and it's still comfy enough to be cozy without feeling constricting. The color pairs perfectly with nearly everything and, even for an average temperature day, it wasn't too thick that I was warm wearing it over a long sleeve top.

We went to Haha Tonka with my parents last weekend and this outfit was perfect for walking up to the castle ruins and back while the boys ran ahead and explored the trail. We took in the gorgeous temperatures (mid sixties) and soaked up all the fresh, crisp air we could. It was rejuvenating to say the least.

These maternity jeans are so, so comfortable and I've been wearing them more and more through these last few weeks of my pregnancy. They're low waisted, a great wash and perfectly distressed but tend to be a bit bigger than I like (right now everything I wear feels big). They are super soft and stretchy though and made a great addition to a lazy weekend outfit. Also, these Maurices shoes were perfect for walking the paved trail and area around the castle. They're comfy, casual enough that I don't worry about getting them too messy in the dirt and dust and they wash easily, which is a huge momma plus. A great thrifting find for just $4.

I can't wait to begin adding more sweaters to my everyday style as the weather begins to cool and the leaves change colors. Fall is my favorite season for many reasons but, being able to layer is at the top of the list. What are your favorite staple pieces for fall?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Style : DIY Ruched Maternity Dress


Dress : made by me  //  Shoes : Anne Michelle (similar)  //  Earrings : old

Total Cost : $28

My brother in law is getting married this November and I recently went on a girls shopping trip (sans kids if you can believe it) with the Bride, my MIL and SIL to get some clothes to wear on the big day. My sister in law found this beautiful lace covered dress that fit her perfectly. I, on the other hand, had a pretty tough time finding something that would work to nurse a newborn while still fitting in with the color palette and festivity of the occasion. All while not being able to actually try it on or knowing what size I'll be just three or so weeks post baby. We searched and searched and finally found a top, skirt and jacket that I think will be perfect. Anyway, while shopping at a discount fabric store afterward, I found some beautiful autumn toned floral printed fabric on sale. Perfectly stretchy and not at all see through. I just couldn't pass it up at such a great price so, I grabbed a couple of yards and brought it home. 

That was a couple of weeks ago and, ever since then, I've been debating in my mind on what I was going to make out of this gorgeous fabric. I kept going back and forth between a maternity dress (that I could wear for only six more weeks), a longer sleeved, looser fitting shift dress for fall, or a gathered waist dress (nursing friendly of course) that could be worn well after baby. I debated and debated and, ultimately decided on a ruched maternity dress. Because, with the bump growing by the day and me feeling not quite as... curvy? I used to, I wanted something that would help me to feel pretty for these last few weeks before baby comes. 

I remembered a great tutorial that Leanne from Elle Apparel shared a few weeks ago, when she too was in her last few weeks of pregnancy, and immediately popped over to read through it. Because I follow this type of tutorial quite often, It seemed like it would be really simple. So, I grabbed my favorite old navy ruched maternity dress to use as my pattern and, about two hours later, had this lovely piece completely customized to me and my not so little bump. I am so in love with how it turned out! Plus, I'm more than slightly convinced that I may be able to occasionally sport this post baby (when he's past the 24/7 nursing stage). 

I love the autumn colors and the floral design and just absolutely everything about how it came together. Pairing it with some nude pumps and a matching bag (sorry I can't show you!) gave me a great outfit for church and an afternoon bridal shower without changing a thing.

This was such an easy tutorial I may just have to make another to get me through these last few weeks of dressing for church. Thank you Leanne for sharing!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Everyday style : transitioning to fall



Top : Target (similar)  //  Jeans : 21 Denim (thrifted)  //  Infinity Scarf : Walmart brand  //  
Sandals : GH Bass Company (old but these are similar)  //  Purse : thrifted

I'm slowly starting to bring warmer tones into my everyday style to transition my wardrobe into fall. It's right around the corner after all and my favorite season of the year. One of the easiest things to add to a late summer outfit is a nice cool scarf. You can use a printed one if the rest of your outfit is fairly simple or a solid color if you're already using some pattern.

Here we are back to one of my favorite colors, black. It's so versatile, you can wear it nearly any month of the year, no matter the season. This top is a great transition piece. It's soft and lightweight, has a great length and the sleeves make it easy to take into fall. The neutral color also makes it great for adding in a printed scarf. Cheetah print (or leopard? I get them confused) is one of my favorites right now so ,naturally, that's what I used. Pairing a tunic like this with some skinny jeans is such an easy combination. And, since the weather was expected to be slightly warm, sandals were the obvious choice to keep my prego feet nice and cool.

I love these black sandals from GH Bass & co. They were a sale find from last season but they have some that are similar right now and just as cute. You could easily swap out the sandals for some closed toe flats or ankle boots and add a utility jacket to take this through the cooler fall months as well.

What colors are staples in your closet? Anything you tend to stay away from for one reason or another?