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Monday, February 24, 2014

The Dress

Every girl dreams of the day she will put on a beautiful white dress and be a princess. After so many years of dreaming, we high hopes and expectations for the perfect dress.

Many of us have designed The Dress in our minds and pictured ourselves in it a million times. Now, the task of finding that perfect gown of our mind's eye. To me, this is one of the most important tasks of wedding planning.

It can also be difficult because of all the expectations we go into dress shopping with. I was convinced that I would walk down the aisle in a one shoulder dress. When I tried on the gown I had had my eye on, it just wasn't the one. 

Well, now what.

For a while the appointment went like this:
too shiny. too beachy. too heavy. too expensive.

Then, it just happened. I put the dress on and I was a bride. This was what I wear down the aisle to my husband. Its an emotional and wonderful feeling when you just know.







Dress, Sash, Veil: David's Bridal 

Here are some tips to consider as you go to your dress appointment:

*Look at pictures of dresses to get an idea of what you like, but realize you might feel differently as you try styles on.
*Consider the atmosphere of your ceremony--casual and outside? High-ceiling, elegant church?
*Describe the theme and feel of your wedding to your consultant. There are hundreds of dresses and she's totally guessing what you will like. 
*Be honest as you try on gowns. This will help your consultant zero in on the style you love.
*Don't get discouraged if you don't love the first dress. You will need to try on a few to get a feel for it. 
*Don't go shopping on an empty stomach. Standing is more exhausting than you anticipate.
*Drink water throughout the appointment. Definitely helps me from feeling flustered. 
*Go with what YOU love, when your loved ones see your face when you find your princess gown, that will be enough for them.
*Know ahead of time whether your budget number is definite or more of a guideline. If it is set in stone, don't try on dresses above it. For me, it was just confusing. 
*Factor alterations into your budget. Keep in mind that hemming the length and intricate bustles can become quite an added expense. 
*You will find the dress and it will be like nothing you ever dreamed. 
*You will look beautiful! He will love it. ;)

 Have fun! Its not everyday you get to try on gorgeous white gowns. :)

For another take on The Dress, along with tips for hair, makeup, and accessories, check out Cheryl's Monday night wedding post at Thecrumbster.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to: Restyled Planner

As the new year came, I was so excited to get a new planner. I love pretty planners and journals. I like my planner to match my style. It helps motivate me to actually use it, and be inspired when I look at it. 

I didn't make it to the store until a week into January, and there were slim pickins in the planner section. I found this teal one. I loved the color! As I started using it, I just kept thinking it needed a little something more. So, I decided to add some simple gold details.

This can easily be done to spice up anything, notebooks, pencil holders, binders, clipboards...

I might start painting everything in sight.

You will need:
solid colored planner
gold craft paint
scratch paper  
scotch tape
newspaper to cover work surface

For the Front:

1. Cover your surface with newspaper so you don't splatter paint over everything. I also placed a scratch paper under the cover of my planner to keep paint off the pages. 

2. Take a toothbrush {not the one you brush with ;)} and dip it in water, then in gold paint.

3. Point the brush downward toward your planner about 2-3 inches away. Brush your finger quickly over the brush flicking specks of paint onto the cover.

4. Repeat until you have splattered paint as heavily as you wish onto your planner cover. Allow to completely dry. I let the paint dry overnight.

For the back:

1. Turn your planner over to the back and apply strips of scotch tape at even distances apart down the entire cover. I used scotch tape and didn't press it down too firmly to avoid leaving a sticky residue.

2. Paint the spaces between your tape with gold paint.

3. Apply several coats, allowing the paint to dry between each coat. If you are impatient like me, you can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. ;)

4. Once the paint is completely dry, carefully peel off the tape. 

Ta-Da! You have a brand new planner. :) That gives me so much new motivation!

What inspires you to get organized?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blessed are the Single Hearted, For They Shall Enjoy Much Peace

I love being married to Wes. I love living on our own. Having my own home to manage. Saving our own money. Planning our own days. But, to be perfectly honest, I don't know how most people do it. Working full time, preparing meals, and keeping up with the laundry. They seem to fill up the entire day. Not to mention accomplishing anything else. 

I have found myself struggling with this over the last few months. Discouraged that I can't seem to keep up with the basics and wondering what I'm doing wrong. I began to pray about it, and here is what I have been learning. 

 I tend towards being a perfectionist, and wannabe overachiever. When setting goals, I don't settle for striving to be more organized, for example. My goal looks like this--Keep the house spotless and dusted and have not one crumb in the sink or sock in the 

Then, when that doesn't happen, I go to bed flustered, and dream about mountains of crumbs, socks and dusty dressers. 

When I think this way, I am pessimistic and unthankful. I find myself dissatisfied. I totally miss the little things because in my mind I require it all done. perfectly.

I thought, ambition is a good thing. But, in my case, it has been a desire for control. I have forgotten the purpose of each day. To glorify the Lord. He gives us each day. And those things that come up unexpectedly and "get in the way", are placed there by Him. That conversation that pushed dinner back, or cold that put me to bed early, was in God's plan for today. I decided it was important to eat dinner by 6:00, but He had encouraging a friend at the top of the list. I had a night of laundry planned, He knew forcing me to rest would remind me that I need Him. 

I am not in control. God is. Clinging to my agenda of how I will be a great Christian wife today, does not bring glory to my Savior. So, I decided to take one thing at a time. Just one thing. The single thing, the Lord allows me to accomplish, I will thank Him for. 

When I do that, all the sudden I can think of many valuable things that were accomplished today. And life is sweet. I can do another one of these days. I can enjoy His rest.

Of course I still want to be a good steward of my time and home. But, when my focus is Him, and I become a follower, rather than a controller, my view of accomplishment is much simpler. I am thankful to be a child of the King, who loves me, who's plan for me is perfect. My value is not in what I do, but in the work my Savior has done.

I love this quote by Amy Carmichael. This perspective changes everything.

Blessed are the single hearted for they shall enjoy much peace.

If you refuse to be hurried or pressed, if you stay your soul on God...

Nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. 

In that stillness. you will know what His will is.

~Amy Carmichael

Proverbs 16:3
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Matthew 11:28-29
 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

What were your struggles when you became a wife or moved out on your own for the first time? I'd love to hear what God taught you through it! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bridal Party Attire: Bridesmaids

I missed Bridal Monday yesterday. I was celebrating a birthday with family. Here I am a day late to share about my quest for bridesmaid outfits! If you missed it last week, you can read about choosing groomsmen attire here.

Choosing bridesmaid dresses was one of the more daunting challenges of wedding planning for me. I was all over the place at first trying to decide how to go about it. There are so many ways you can go--bridesmaids choose their own, same store various top styles, shopping together, ordering online, etc.  I think the best way to begin is by writing out the factors you're facing to help you narrow down your feasible options.

This was my list:
*The dress needs to be affordable- all of my bridesmaids except my sister were traveling to the wedding from out of state--an expense in itself. 
*I want a dress that my girls can wear again.
*It needs to be a dress that everyone will feel comfortable in--I don't want the tiny girls to drown in their outfit or tall girls to feel like they are wearing a little girl dress.
*2 bridesmaids are working summer camp, and 3 are planning their own weddings. I don't want them to have to spend much time shopping. 
*I'd like the girls to be able to try the dress on, so it needs to be from a nationwide store.

These thoughts led me to the decision of choosing one dress from a bridal boutique with locations all over the country. I chose a dress from the special occasion department of David's Bridal, where the girls received 20% off their dresses since I purchased my dress there as well.

 Once I found a dress I loved, I emailed a link to my bridesmaids to show them! I wanted the girls to make their outfit personal to their personalities, so they each picked out their own shoes. I just asked that they be in the beige, tan family. This turned out perfectly--I loved all their shoes!

 The girls also chose how they did their hair for the day.


I was so thrilled with how gorgeous everyone looked! I am so thankful for these friends. Getting ready with them and taking photos together was one of my favorite parts of the day. :)


*Browse pinterest for an ideas that fit your theme.
*If you have a price range in mind, call boutiques you're considering before even visiting to see what their starting prices are.
*David's Bridal has a rewards program with discounts for your girls when you purchase your dress with them.
*Make sure the dress you choose is not being discontinued. If it is, be sure to communicate to your bridesmaids that there is a limited supply of the dress and they should purchase theirs ASAP.
*Be considerate of your friends, but don't stress about making everyone happy. Your girls are here for you, they'll have your back regardless of whether they love what they're sporting on the big day.
*Be careful about ordering online. Take into consideration that you can't try on or feel the quality of the fabric. 
*Try on the dress you are thinking of before deciding. If you don't like it on yourself, chances are your girls won't love it either. 
*Don't get discouraged if things don't go as planned. It all comes together somehow in the end, and everyone will look beautiful!

Matching dresses worked out great for our big day, but you'll need to decide what works best for you and your lovely ladies! Cheryl, at Thecrumbster. went with the choose your own dress route. It came together beautifully. Check out her maids' outfits here along with how the entire bridal party dressed.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Confessions of a Thrift Junkie

I hope you had a great Valentine's weekend! It was so nice to have Wes home every afternoon the last few days. :) Plus, the weather has been a lot warmer! 

It seemed appropriate to wear red pants. And the shirt I wore when we got engaged--ultra sappy, I know. Another one of those outfits that started with a $4 pair of pants....

Red Cordorouys- Target Clearance, Similiar, Similar
Gray Cardigan- American Eagle, Similar
Black Ruffled Top- Cato, Similar
Sparkle Loafers- DSW

After February 14th, I totally transition to spring mindset. I hope the weather agrees!